So for Spring break I went on a missions trip with my Cru group at UCI up to NorCal. We were aiming at going to public areas and just talking to people about the gospel. Not by any means corner evangelicals, but we kind of cruised around and asked people if we could talk to them about spiritual/cultural beliefs. After a few questions, we would ask if we could share what we believe in and if you found a cool enough person, a pretty good convo would ensue. I didn’t really find any people that were really open, but some people did come to Christ through this trip which was AWESOME!
After being the last group to reach Santa Cruz (at 3:30 am, wtf google?!), we went out sharing today in the heart of San Francisco. I was paired with my friend Sam and it was a really positive experience. At first we wandered around a little aimlessly, but then we ran into a group of homeless people on the steps of what was the old San Francisco Mint from the gold rush era. We asked them if we could ask them a couple of questions regarding their spiritual background and they responded positively. Even though two of the three were way to drunk, one shortly passed out on the sidewalk, the third guy seemed very interested in what we had to say. We must have talked to them for at least 45 minutes. The thing they really liked was the fact that we had stopped and talked to them, since everyone else would simply pass right by without even looking. I hear this a lot every time I get to go down with the povertees gang. Homeless people love it when us ‘others’ talk to them.
Excommunicating the undesirable is something that has been happening since back in Jesus’ day. Jesus responded with kindness that they had never really experienced before. While it’s all good an easy to show this kind of kindness to people that have visibly less than us, what about other groups of people that we have as a church excommunicated?
The Homosexual Community?
- Definitely excommunicated, but we don’t have to support their lifestyles to interact with them.
The Islamic Community?
- We kind of excommunicated each other, ever since the crusades…
The World in General?
- There are tons of crazy religious right, and even left, groups harming the image of the Church the world sees.
How can we/you remedy these broken relationships?
For one, can we stop using the phrase “that’s so gay!” in a negative connotation? While I probably use it in the same sense that a gay person might use the phrase “that’s retarded!”, it is something they probably take offense to. Having your lifestyle taken and being used as an insult is a huge slap in the face. I would be a little offended if people started saying “that’s so Christian.” This isn’t a “heal all hurts” response, but it sure is a lot better to get to know someone when you aren’t using their life as an insult. And that’s how you spread the word, the Holy Spirit takes it from there.
And the times that our church does try to overcome this excommunication, it gets death threats.
I understand that these people did some drastic things in their life. But redemption has to start somewhere. Maybe this was a great idea, until the community started giving out death threats.