When was the last time you dined with “sinners”? The common answer will be, “This morning, Jim. You know my family!” Even at the breakfast table there is often pride, gluttony and false witnessing from the teens.
What I am talking about is breaking bread with the bad people Christians don’t usually dine with. Well I want to share a unique experience, and encourage you to do the same.
I have a burden for the LGBT community. For those who are acronym challenged—LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. Please keep reading.
In the church belief system there is little sin, and there is big SIN (We are usually guilty of the little stuff, and others do the big stuff!) Truth tells me if you break one rule, you break them all. It is level at the foot of the cross.
Anyway, IVC has a LGBT club. I attended a Saturday conference because I have a transgender/questioning granddaughter in college back east. It grieves a parent or grandparent when they have a child who wants to be the other sex or they have same-sex attraction.
Some of you have been in those moccasins. Did you walk away? Sorry, but my Jesus has asked me to “love my neighbor” and to minister to others, whether in my immediate family or not. I choose to try and stand in the gap.
I went to the conference and workshops to learn. I want to love my granddaughter more, not less. Like many others, I am confused. I shared this burden with my church and to date, I have gotten little response. Not because they don’t love me, but they are confused too.
I’m not sure what to say to my granddaughter and my brothers and sisters in the church don’t know what to say to me. I know they are praying for me, but God gave me a brain, and I want to learn more about the feelings and concerns of one of my children. I also need wisdom, and God says to seek wisdom. We are also called to be in the world, but not of this world.
I didn’t go to workshops to evangelize, but more often these days, I will stand and speak the truth in love. I learned some things, and by speaking my perspective, I think some folks there learned some things. One thing I did do was to calm a little of the hate speech.
Many in the LGBT community feel hated by the church or religious folks. Part of that is because the media focuses so much on the nuts in the church e.g. Pastor Phelps who recently died. Google him if don’t know his sick legacy. Many gay folks have experienced prejudice, abuse, harassment and rejection and the church gets the blame—which isn’t really fair.
I shared with them I was a Christian, I had friends who died of AIDS, and I also have Christian friends who have volunteered in AIDS hospices. If there were an AIDS hospice in Imperial Valley would you volunteer?
Lately I have been meditating on certain verses. In Mark 2:15, Jesus was chastised for “dining with sinners.” In Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of read and to prayer.” That just means that as a follower it is good to get out and about. I don’t condone the sin and I shouldn’t abandon the sinner.
This weekend we at Valley Baptist, we will be dining with sinners. We are putting on a tri-tip lunch fundraiser, and in the process we are giving away 250 tickets due to a huge donation from a saint in the community. The freebees are going hopefully to the unsaved and families in need. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH! The community has been very gracious in support, and the servants very giving of their time and service for a fundraiser for my pastor who has leukemia.
I will be dining with more sinners in the future. If you care to break bread with me and see where we can have more meals, email me at email@example.com. I need to do this now, until which time we sinners will be dining at the banquet table in heaven!