I don’t want this post to be condemning but I do want it to challenge us, especially me.
When was the last time you had dinner with a sinner – a person who admittedly does not believe in Jesus? Not in context of ministry, not in context of family but just at their house having a conversation that did not involve you trying to win them over to Christ? Could you sit at a dinner table, laugh, have conversations with people whose lifestyle you disagree with?
WWJD? He was known as a friend to sinners. He was accused of being a sinner because He was just as comfortable being around sinners as He was the religious elite. Jesus saw people not as they were but as they were created to be. Let’s do what Jesus did.
De facto segregation is a phenomena that occurs because people tend to congregate by racial ethnicity. As Christian we tend to also employ de facto separation. We don’t intentionally set out to rid ourselves of all non-Christian friends but somewhere along the way de facto separation has occurred and we are having dinner with only Christians.
Let’s do what Jesus did. Let’s cross dividing lines of beliefs. Let us see people not as they are but as God has called them to be. Let us love people where they are. Let us not be afraid of being accused of being a sinner because of who we choose to hang out with. Let us do what Jesus did. My pastor, Bryan Finley, calls that the “stringless gospel”.
Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, ” It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:10-13 NASB)