Something that's been kicking around in my brain lately: How has the church gotten so off track in the way we treat (and thus appear to) the rest of the world? It's a big topic so I'm going to start this as a series and take it in bits and pieces. I'd really like feedback on this subject so if you disagree with anything I say, please comment and tell me! I'd really like to hear the opinions of my non-Christian readers too. ;) Maybe we can start a dialogue here where people actually listen to what others have to say. Wouldn't that be something new and exciting!
Also, I know I'm generalizing here. I'm not trying to say there isn't anyone doing what they should be in the church, just commenting on what I see on a large scale.
"Why does everyone hate us?"
In my experience, many Christians seem so isolated in a world of church events & Christian social circles that they're able to convince themselves that non-Christians, as a whole, seem to hate them because the unbelievers are convicted by the Christians' holiness and righteous living. Gack.
There's little reaching out on the part of the church to those outside of it. Oh we pretend to reach out: "Take this tract and we'll give your kid Halloween candy!"
"Come to youth group and we'll let you roller skate in the rec room!"
"Come in, look like us, and we'll accept you!"
But the truth is that very rarely is an offer of help put forth without strings attached. We serve so that others may be won to our cause, not out of love. Can you imagine a church program based on showing love to the homosexual community, not with the intention of "curing" gays or making them into model Christians, just loving them? This has nothing to do with the argument over whether homosexuality is a choice or a biological imperative. It has nothing to do with whether living a homosexual lifestyle is a sin, or whether it's healthy or rewarding to society. Do not let these issues interfere with what should be a simple question. Are we or are we not called to love all people? And are we only called to love them if and after they repent, or is the state of another's heart the province of God alone?
We've lost the central point of Christ's message.