Go Ye?

January 26, 2011

I was talking to someone I love and greatly respect about taking Jesus into our community and getting involved in other’s lives when he told me about a meeting he had sat in on several years ago. This classroom was being used for those in the congregation to have “business meetings” and one man had the desire to start a soup kitchen in their metropolitan city.

He explained that he wanted to use the church’s fellowship building to invite the homeless and hungry to come and eat. He wanted the people, the Christians, to come and serve these less fortunate. He wanted to build relationships with those struggling in this world. He wanted to help. He wanted to love. He wanted to show others Jesus.

The room got quiet as the others processed what they had heard. Then one man in the back spoke up, “Son, that’s a nice idea but it’s not going to happen. You preach the gospel every Sunday. We come and hear you. Our doors are always open to those outside of this church. These people can come to any service any time they want. The times are publicized on the TV, in the newspaper, and in our weekly bulletin. That’s up to them. If they don’t want to come here and hear what you have to say, then that’s their choice to die and go to Hell.”

When I heard this story, I wanted to cry. The attitude of some is to sit back and let others come to us. But wasn’t it Jesus who said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16).

When did we stop “going into the world” and start expecting the world to “come unto us”? Or did this never click with some?

Sadly, these attitudes (that I feel are the minority in the Kingdom) hurt the church and the cause of Christ worse than anything else.

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5 Comments Add your own

  •    Jamie Riley  |  January 26th, 2011 at 10:44 pm     Reply

    Thanks for the challenge Paula. While these stories are sad, even heart-breaking, I know they’re very real. I’ve experienced this attitude in similar ways also. But we’re not gonna lose heart, God is doing amazing things around us, and around the world. And I’m sure He will us this post as well, as he moves us to greater love and service, to all of those He loves and serves.
    I appreciate you, thanks for this post…

  •    Terry  |  January 27th, 2011 at 12:04 am     Reply

    Paula,
    I think you’re right. Such attitudes exist. But I think you’re also right in believing that they are in the minority. Many Christians love opportunities to help others know Christ.

  •    tona & Barry Walker  |  January 27th, 2011 at 2:02 pm     Reply

    attitudes as extreme as the one you described are, hopefully, in the minority.I come across a watered down version of that attitude. came across it first in myself, that’s how I know to recognize it. 100% of the church says “the soup kitchen is a great idea! run with it!” the idea person says “OK, I need cooks, set-up & clean-up people, volunteers to serve the food, volunteers to talk to & encourage the folks who come…” 95% of the congregation says ” well, let me check my calendar. we’ve got soccer, b’ball, music lessons, yada yada with the kids that night. I can’t get off work in time to get there. well, I’ll try to remember to come help when I can. things are really busy with work/school/life/family/etc… right now but when it slows down I’ll get over there.” the 95% will pray for you, give a little money, maybe cook occasionally & drop the food off as long as they can do it without giving up anything or inconveniencing themselves. it’s the same attitude as what you described, just watered down & easier to justify. I know cuz I still do it myself way too often.

  •    outnumberedlisa  |  January 27th, 2011 at 7:36 pm     Reply

    I’m not trying to play the adversary here, but I think you’re being too nice by saying it’s a minority group that has that attitude. Granted, most of us might not say those things out loud. I don’t want to agree with that man AT ALL. However, I think my LACK of action gives me away. I think too many of us would preach the great commission and yet still kinda hope deep in our hearts that we don’t actually have to GO. That’s me, anyway. I am working on that, but without others prodding me and getting me to join in, I am likely to stay nice & tight in my little bubble.

    Having said that, I believe without a doubt that you, and the other commenters on this blog are living out the great commission with flying colors. 🙂

  •    Nedra Smith  |  February 7th, 2011 at 3:23 pm     Reply

    Hi, Paula. Thank you for sharing this incident. Sometimes a “grump” will shoot down an evangelistic opportunity, “win,” and the congregation ends up being disobedient by not going. God will hold His church accountable for our inaction, too.

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