Sunday, August 21, 2005

Unconditional Love

I finished Blue Like Jazz last night before falling asleep. One of the chapters was talking about Love. The author, Don Miller, was writing about a time in his life when he had lived in the Oregon woods for a month with a bunch of pot smoking hippies. He went on to explain the unconditional love that these hippies showed to everyone. They didn't really care who you were, what you were like, whether or not you believed in God, whether you smoked pot or not. They showed love to EVERYBODY! Unconditionally. He then went on to explain what he had seen in several churches that he had been in. How people looked down on others who were not "like" them. If you did not subscribe to their way of life, or their "rules", you were an outcast.

Let me ask an honest question. How many times have you snubbed the homeless guy on the street? The punk rocker with all of his piercings, colored hair and tattoo's? The person that has different political views than yourself? Are we as Christians guilty of this? If I had to answer for myself, I would have to honestly answer yes. But I am going to strive to treat others the way Jesus would.

The homosexual, the girl who had an abortion, the drunk, the homeless, the drug addict, the couple living together outside of marriage. How many of them have attended a church only to be "rejected" because of the way they are. Too many churches are so proactive in holding protests against homosexuality, same sex marriage, abortion clinics, etc. It is my personal opinion that these protests are wrong. Why can't we just love these people that are hurting? Love them the way Christ does. Would he be out there protesting? A person commented on one of my previous posts. He said he heard an interview where Josh McDowell was interviewing young women who had gone through an abortion. The one common denominator in their answers was that they felt the abortion clinics were the only ones reaching out to them. Even the Christians in their lives had turned their backs on them because they had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. Would they have gotten an abortion if these Christians in their lives had shown them love and compassion instead of screaming at them and rejecting them because they were pregnant out of wedlock? I don't know, I can't answer that. But my guess is that maybe they would not have gone through with it.

One thing I really like about The Vineyard is the way they try to love people where they are at. I love the Drop-In Center which is where Patty and I serve the kids on Thursday nights. They are a bunch of unchurched kids. Skater's, BMX'ers, punk rockers, whatever. They cuss, some smoke, some probably use drugs. But we love them and try to show them Christ's love. We are there to "serve" them. True Servants. I stood in awe this past Thursday night while the Youth Pastor gathered them all around at the end of the night and prayed for them. He prayed for their safety, that they would do well in school. He prayed for their families. He truly loves those kids, as do Patty and I and all of the others who serve at the Drop-In Center.

Well I have rambled enough. The running is going great so far. I am building up my stamina again and my endurance. It feels good. I step up again this up coming week a bit as far as more running and less walking and the mileage will go up a bit too. Please pray for our family as we will be putting our dog down this week. Patty is not taking it so well. It hurts to have to do it, but it will be the right thing to do to end her suffering.

Lord, help us as Christians to love people who are different than us. Help us to show them your love. Help us to not have self righteous attitudes. Let us take the punks, the skaters, the homosexuals, the homeless, the drug addicts and love them like You love them, and try to bring them into a true relationship with You!


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