Part of Tim’s sermon on Sunday was about identifying the lines drawn in our community and then working to either cross those lines or erase them. We have a lot of lines in Springfield: political, socioeconomic, north side vs. south side, education, etc. And because we live so close to these lines, it’s sometimes hard for us to even see they exist. We stop noticing the homeless, or impoverished, or under-educated. We stop caring.
Even worse than not caring is when we start assuming we know what the other side of the line looks like. A lot of people on the south side make some crazy assumptions about the north side. A lot of people who stay downtown make similarly extreme assumptions about those who live south of Battlefield Road. We see someone who is dressed in worn and dirty clothes and assume a lot about their level of education, and interests, and motives.
People make those assumptions about the church too, like that you can’t be Christian if you’re not Republican, or you can’t go to church if you don’t have a college education, or you can’t walk through the door if you’ve screwed up along the way.
These assumptions are heartbreaking to me, because in every case, they’ve been made because a Christian has either outright told them it’s true, or has given them a strong impression about it.
“I couldn’t go to church… I had sex before I was married,” and they think that because of this, God must hate them.
“I couldn’t go to church… I’m gay, and all the Christians hate me, so Christ must hate me too,” I’ve been told.
“I used to do drugs. I used to be a prostitute. If I walked through the doors, I’d probably be hit by a lightning bolt.”
“I just don’t think I could ever get along with a group of Republicans…”
We have drawn these lines, either through our words, or our actions, or our silence. We need to own up to them, identify them, and get rid of them.
Tim shared a great video on Sunday, and I really want you all to check this out. This is what Vineyard believes, and I think it is more in line with what Jesus was preaching. I want you to watch it, and then I want you to come to our church on February 16th at 10:30 a.m. We’re having a Big Sunday and I’d love for you all to hear about how we do church.