Do you know what the biggest problem is, that the Church has to deal with? Sinners are always attending Church. The Church would be perfect if it wasn’t for all those sinners! How do I know? Because I am one of those sinners.
As believers we struggle with being and living Christian and worshiping with people who are just as sinful or maybe more sinful. In almost 35 years of ministry I have seen a wide variety of sinners in the life of the congregation. In our Church we have an open invitation to ALL to come to the Table. So, what does that mean? We get sinners, liars, adulterers, thieves, homosexuals, greedy, covetousness, prideful, atheists, rebellious, and all sorts show up at the Table. What is the Church coming too?
When we look at the Gospels, Jesus is always around the sinner. He is eating with them, visiting in their homes and speaking to them in the crowds. In fact, he seems to welcome them, because unlike the religious, they want to hear the Word and allow God to transform their lives. We have the same struggles today. Somehow we say to ourselves that if we allow them into the Church we are “condoning” the things that they are doing. NOT TRUE. Somehow if they worship with us we are affirming things we don’t think the scripture teaches for that we approve of. NOT TRUE.
A condemner rarely speaks to the unchurched. A condemning faith forgets the love and grace that God showed the Church in Jesus. Look closely at Jesus, At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:9) Did you read it? “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. He had every right to condemn this woman, she was caught in adultery. He never approved of the behavior. He was never tempted to become part of the behavior. He accepted her as the broken vessel she was and gave her grace.
Can we do the same?