I was talking to my mom some time back and the conversation of church came up. As she went on, our talk went towards our members. My dad had went to see one or our former church members in the hospital who was dying of cirrhosis. After many descriptions of her family, I was finally able to put a face to this unfortunate member of ours. What I couldn’t pinpoint however, was why this person stopped coming. Her kids loved the youth ministry; she seemed to be growing in the word; what happened? As if reading my thoughts, my mom tells me she felt bad because the member struggled with drinking and was ashamed to come to church. Huh!!!!!!!!!
Does anyone besides me see how this statement is dripping with irony?
Thinking about this for a while made me sad, upset and mostly confused. A person was so afraid of judgment and criticism in their broken state, they would rather avoid the very place which is supposed to be a “haven for the sick and broken hearted”; the very place which is supposed to be a personification of god’s love and acceptance. This situation liken to someone who is ill avoiding a hospital. As I pondered on this, I began to think on the church as a whole. Have we missed the mark on what the church is supposed to look like? Its functionality? Has it become so egocentric that we have made our own extrapolations of scripture in order to meet our vision of the body of Christ. The church should be the last place the broken should feel unwanted or unworthy. These thoughts got me thinking about the a Preacher named Carlton and his theory of the inclusion doctrine.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Pentecostal denomination, Carton Pearson was one of the most prominent preachers in this realm. He was ostracized from most of the church body with his belief in the inclusion doctrine. This doctrine is basically synonymous with universalism which states that Jesus has died for all and that all will go to heaven. John 3:18 clearly states the opposite stating that all mankind is estranged from Christ and requires belief in Jesus Christ. 1 john 5:18 goes on to state that whosoever is born of God Sins not. I digress in my writings, but I brought the theory not to advocate universalism, but to bring home a point.
There are those in the church , however distorted their postulates, who are trying to reconcile a church that fragments the membership of the body of Christ. The question that I have is how do we minster to all those who belong in the church?
ENJOY. ENGAGE. REACT.