Thursday, January 11, 2007

Campaigning irony

Stuart Blythe in a quite brilliant post over at word at the barricades ( look for the entry called 'perplexed'), has put his finger on why I have misgivings about the current campaign by some Christians against the sexual orientation regulations. And it has to do with my reading of acts 3 - i love it when things look joined up!

Stuart suggests that it is somewhat weird for Christians to be campaigning for the right not to serve people. Read that sentence again if you haven't picked up the irony. We're called to serve everyone, just as God does, so why should we be looking for exemptions on the basis of our disapproval of certain people's lifestyles?

Remember that Luke's first readers would almost certainly have assumed that the man at the gate of the temple (Acts 3:1-10) was morally deficient as well as disabled. They would have seen his disability as evidence that his lifestyle did not measure up to their high standards, that he did not have a good character.

Peter and John did not look for a reason not to serve him. Rather, despite knowing precious little about him - except that he couldn't walk - Peter swept the man up into the story of God's saving activity in the world.

Shouldn't it be our joy to serve all people of all kinds in the hope that through our service they catch a glimpse of the God who causes his sun to shine on all?


Wulf said...

Yes! It is unfortunate that a common strand of thinking in churches involves defining who we are by what we are not, rather than by reflection of who God is. So many times Christian people only manage to strike a balance of misunderstanding God, themselves and others at the expense of reflecting God and having confidence that he is in control.

I hope that, as christendom continues to die over the coming years, we will see more of vibrant (joyful) Christianity instead.

ps. how did the church meeting go?

simon said...

The church meeting is happening this coming Sunday - so far 150ish have booked in for lunch (twice the number that come midweek - though it does include some children). I'm looking forward to it. I'll give a full report on monday.

Michelle said...

Hi Simon,

I can't help but be drawn to the thought of the Pharasees as they reject Jesus because he mixed with the "sinners" and unfortunatly we Christians if we are not careful have the same attitude as the Pharasees. We seem to think that our identity is with who we hang out with, what we do for "the Jesus in group" and if we are caught serving the wrong type of people others will think that we accept the Sin along with the sinner. Well I've got news for our fellow family in Christ...We are all sinners, forgiven, and called to serve ALL people....yes even those whose lifestyle or behaviour does not match our standard!!!! Maybe I don't match the standard either!
As the Zaccheaus' of this world go about living in their worldly life styles, they need to be coming across people who serve them and reach out to them in and with the love of Christ, how else will they meet Him....Grace and there's a radical way for a follower of Jesus.