JS Park writes good, solid words. This post is exactly what my blog is about so I have decided to re-blog it here. I have deliberately omitted some of it so that you will go to the original and spend time on his site.


100, 99, and 1

English: Good shepherd

Good shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” ( Luke 15:4)

I don’t meet many pastors or Christians who believe this anymore.  We tend to accept those who appear more mature or are “willing to learn” or “have potential” – but we neglect the difficult cases.  We abandon those who somehow don’t fall in line with our church methodology.  We exert our efforts into the easy cases because they’ve met our ego-imposed standards, but we reject those who would “waste my time.”

This is a horrific, unbiblical, worldly legalism that has shackled prerequisites on the same people that Jesus died for.  I don’t remember Jesus setting these sort of absurd checklists to make someone a “worthwhile” disciple.

We think it’s a success in ministry to have all these guys who go to seminary or sign up for a six-week discipleship course or serve on the praise team: and I praise God when that happens.  But God forbid we also visit prisons, help the homeless, love on addicts, or do anything outside the church that doesn’t serve itself.  God forbid we are open to the sincerely struggling and those curious of faith or those who have been burnt by the world and its performance-driven paranoia.  God forbid we are loving to those who have nothing to offer back to the church.

I really want to ask…Why is the church making people more anxious and more exhausted and more frustrated?  I don’t think this is what Jesus died for.  He died to take burdens off, not add burdens on.

… Imagine I tell you, “If you’re healthy enough, you can enter my hospital.”

If you do this… please don’t freaking call yourself a Christian.  We oppose God when this happens; and it’s not okay.

…I can’t say I’m always good at this.  I fail often as a pastor and as a human being.  I have neglected others to my own shame.  In my imperfect writing skill, I’ve probably wrongly added burdens in this post too.  And I’m a small-time guy with just another critical voice in a sea of criticism.  But I grieve for our Christian communities to be like Jesus.  I pray we have a heart for the one when he leaves the 99.  I hope we are not categorizing people into worthy and unworthy: because if this were true, none of us could stand in the grace of God.  But that’s why it’s grace.  It’s for people like you and me and not for who we deem worthy.

– J

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