Head First: A Hot Cup of Coffee in My Name...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Hot Cup of Coffee in My Name...

If you listen to Steve Brown or (the late?) Godscrum, you've likely heard of Sandy Johns and In The Name of Jesus. I have been blown away by this chick since January, when Zeke first brought her to our attention. For all the details of her group, I'll refer you to her site. But the idea is to do acts of kindness in Jesus' name, without further agenda nor personal recognition, especially to people who likely have a distorted impression of Jesus because of the actions and attitudes of His (ahem) followers.

Nashville-based In the Name of Jesus seeks out prostitutes, the homeless, homosexuals, abortion-workers (gulp!) and others who have been beaten up and rejected by the church, and give thoughtful, useful gifts with no strings attached, except a card that says "This kindness is being shown to you in the name of Jesus." This is done in hope that the recipient might be provoked to reconsider his/her perception of who Jesus is. This is in addition to random acts of kindness done spontaneously whenever an opportunity presents itself.

It'll never work. It's too easy.

I think not. It's simple and straightforward, and it's a great way (to borrow a vintage phrase from Josh Sager) "to show Christ's love in a tangible way."

Well, color me inspired. My buddy, Mike, and I have been talking this over and plan to attend Philadelphia's Pride Day 2006 Parade and Festival on June 11, where we will reach out to our GLBT friends with a small gift in Jesus' name. We will purchase $5 gift cards from a specialty coffee store (who has asked that I do not use their brand name on my site).and hand them out to people at the event. Inside the cardholder will be another small card. On one side, it will say, "This kindness is being shown to you in the name of Jesus." On the other side will be our brief statement of apology for our participation in the judgmental attitudes that have hurt them and misrepresented the message of Christ. I'm still working on this statement, but will share it when I'm done.

Whatever your theological position on homosexuality, you'd have to be in some serious denial not to acknowledge that many in the church, especially fundamentalist and evangelical churches have been harsh in both their judgemental rhetoric and exclusionary behavior towards gay people. If you ask me whether homosexuals will go to hell, I will tell you that it has nothing to do with the way Christ commands us to love. And love we must.

As of now, we have 300 gift cards (counting the 100 cards that In The Name of Jesus has generously committed to give us). Two guys will be able to give away that many cards in pretty short order, so I'm hoping that my friends will want to get involved. If you're willing to help, you can do it a couple different ways.

-- click the button to donate via PayPal (NOTE: This method is NOT tax-deductible, and is, therefore, far more spiritual).

-- send a check to In The Name of Jesus at this address. Sandy will buy the cards and send them to me (NOTE: This method IS tax-deductible, and is, therefore, far better stewardship of resources).

-- buy some $5 gift cards (in the paper card carriers) and mail them to me (NOTE: This method seems like a waste of time, but whatever makes you comfortable).


If you elect one of the mail options, you must act pretty quickly (like today), and drop me an email to let me know how much you're sending, so I can plan accordingly. If you're one of those who has to have some sort of incentive to give, then ask for offer L3J254 and I'll send you a miracle prayer cloth that I've blessed with my own touch (it's 2-ply, only the best).

I'm very excited about this. I mean, I've been sitting on my ass bitching and blathering on about this and that for the better part of a year. It feels good to do something. Hopefully this will be the first of many such outreaches.

82 comments:

Allison said...

Love this, love this, love this.

I'd love to send money for a couple or three cards your way, and I have some PP funds sitting around collecting dust. But, when I click on your link, I get an error message from PayPal.

To what adress may I send some money, and how would you like me to label the transfer?

Thanks!

dorsey said...

Wow, thanks allison! Awesome!

I was having trouble with the PayPal button, too. It's fixed now. If anyone has a problem, you can send funds to my PayPal account at dorsey@softhome.net. Just mark it PhillyPride.

WooHOO!!!

Zeke said...

The dormant Godscrum, thanks very much.

Agreed, Sandy and her team are awesome and I'm jazzed to see the concept catching on.

dorsey said...

I'm jazzed to hear that Godscrum is only dormant. Due for an eruption, I think.

Nunzia said...

Came over from KC's blog and I thought that was a very awesome gesture.

Luthsem said...

They will know we are Christians by our love not hate!!!
Thanks Dorsey

BruceD said...

My first impression of this was... another "hit and run" ministry. And after careful thought, I don't think it has risen much above that levle. Sure, they'll take your gift, but I wonder how many will actually make the mental ascent to "this is from Jesus"? Or, will they think that you're trying to "buy" their interest with a gift? Or, maybe bribe them into knowing Christ?

Certainly, programs like this, even at their worst, are good. If I know you, the gift will only be an icebreaker... a means of connection that might lead to conversation. That's where the fun begins. It will either become an attempt at subtle manipulation, or it could be a chance to share eye to eye, heart to heart. It will either have a "program" agenda, or it will be a loving exchange without obligation or requirement.

People are smart. They usually easily see through our motivations. Either we love, or we manipulate.

I know I'll get a lot of flak for posting my thoughts on this. And hopefully you'll say something that will change my mind. I would like that very much. But, at the moment, I don't think that's something I would enjoy being a part of... or at least the "in the name of Jesus" part. Maybe I'd be more interested if it was a gift from me. Then, "let's talk about why I wanted to give you a gift."

I guess I just appreciate people who are real with me, and it moves me to try to be real with others in return. The whole thing seems awefully gimmicky to me, and I think that's how I'd see it if someone came up to me with a gift like that.

But, whatever happens, at least something is happening. It's not my approach, but it is bound to have some effect.

Have fun!

JimmyBob said...

Dorse, I love the fact that you're doing something positive instead of the usual protest garbage, and I certainly support you in your efforts. But...

Can you honestly "apologize" for the past way Christians have treated the gay community? Are you one of those who have treated them that way? How do you think they'll receive that from you?

These are only questions. I have always had a problem with these types of apologies. I am very uncomfortable with them.

Also, "gay churches" exist already and they sing the same choruses mainstream churches do. So, they're beyond the theological barriers that keep them from worship. But, where would you send them? How could any gay person feel comfortable in a church that believes homosexuality is sin? Isn't the purpose of their marching to show pride in their sexual orientation and to further their causes?

See, I treat gay people with respect like I do and should with all people. But, I also believe that homosexuality is sin. In my experience, this belief is what actually keeps us from complete connection, not the way I treat them.

So, what is your stance?

Mrs Zeke said...

bruced this way will not work for everyone, it only need to help one see things different. Many of the people this program addresses are tired of people trying to convert them, have been damned to hell by Christians and mistrust Christians. Many of them know the words of the Bible but not the grace and love of the Bible.

Can a gift be given just cause someone wants to share a bit of the love they have been given with you and then just let it be like a seed in the ground?

They are only hit and run if there is another intention behind the gift giving. There has really been enough "God with strings attached" and since we don't save anyone its a place maybe that someone might turn towards God and listen so He can save and maybe not.

If God wants a conversation to take place one will but we have to feed first and let God do His thing and listen for when He might want to use me or you or anyone.

Love now tomorrow is not promised to anyone

BruceD said...

JB, do you believe that the work of the Cross paid the price for our "sin"? Or, is it up to us to remove ourselves from "sin"? To me, the idea is not for us to work to remove sin from our lives, but to understand what Christ did for all mankind, and let that knowledge work in our lives. We are powerless on our own, but the love of God is the most powerful force in the universe.

Dorsey, I guess what I'm wondering is this - what do you hope to accomplish by doing this? And what do you think you will actually accomplish by doing this?

dorsey said...

Mrs. Zeke gets me. Thank you.

Jimmybob, you're bringing a lot of evangelical baggage to the table. I'll respond, but first I want to address bruced's comments.

Bruce, I hope you don't get too much flak, because yours is a very thoughtful reaction, and your articulation of it prompts me to respond with the same amount of cogency (I hope).

All the doubts you raised, I've had them. I've been accused of doing works to salve my conscience, and I've asked myself whether it's true. I've questioned whether my actions would be fruitful, and how I would know if they were. I've wondered how I will respond if my gift is met with contempt. I have a Christian friend who is convinced I'm going to get my ass kicked. What then?

I don't know.

Seventeen years ago, I was at a Glad concert, and at the halfway mark, they came out and did a presentation for Compassion International, appealing for audience members to support children in the third world. As they spoke, I suddenly felt strongly like this was something I should do. But just as suddenly, my other voice said "What are you trying to do here? Throw a couple bucks at some poor kids so you don't feel so guilty about living in your nice house and wearing your fancy clothes? HYPOCRITE!"

Dammit.

I sat there through the rest of the concert, doing battle with myself, trying to arrive at a mental state where I was doing a right thing for a right reason. It didn't happen.

Finally, a third voice spoke up (this one couldn't have been me, because it made things clear) and said, "There are kids in desperate need. Help them now, and go home and work out your motives later."

Whether I ever got my motives straight or not, I'm not really certain. But there are two young adults in Haiti right now who are educated and able to care for themselves and their families. $28 a month seems humiliatingly insignificant in that light.

So to get to your bottom line, bruced, I don't know what's going to happen. I don't really have a plan. I agree that, on it's face, it certainly can look like a gimmick. But if I really can do this without attaching strings to the gift, where's the angle? Where's the manipulation? I need to make sure you understand that I'm not using the gift as an icebreaker. I'm not using a gift to buy my way into a conversation. Don't look any deeper than the face of it. It's hand them the gift, smile, and move on. Then it's up to them to decide what to make of it.

It's counterintuitive for me. My neverending refrain is "relationship, relationship, relationship." For me, it's tough NOT to try to get a conversation going. But, like Mrs. Zeke observed, it's laying a seed on the ground. I don't have the power to make that seed grow, nor do I have any control over the condition of the soil. This whole scenario is a huge question mark.

And it's cool, because the pressure's not on me to perform. It's God's job to work in people's hearts.

Bruce, it's not really my intent to change your mind. It's going to be what it's going to be. Who knows, maybe it'll be a disaster. Live and learn, eh? But even if you still disagree, I hope I've at least addressed your concerns.

dorsey said...

Jimmybob,

"Can you honestly "apologize" for the past way Christians have treated the gay community? Are you one of those who have treated them that way? "

I'm not apologizing for anyone but me. You're on your own. And yes, there was a time when I considered homosexuals (and democrats) to be people that God loved less than he loved me. I was one of the people that would have denied a gay person any opportunity to appear "mainstream." I swallowed the lines of the Don Wildmons and the James Dobsons and the Jerry Falwells that these people (not just their sins) were an abomination--their very existence an insult to Almighty God.

These days, people in my church have softened their words. We say that, of course we love the person, but we hate their sin so much that we still won't have anything to do with that person. So regardless of what our words say, our exclusionary behavior still says God Hates Fags.

"How do you think they'll receive that from you?"

I don't know. It doesn't matter. That's up to the Holy Spirit, I guess.

As far as the rest of your concerns, I don't really purport to have an answer, which accounts for the limited scope of this activity.

The evangelical baggage I mentioned earlier is the need to have the end figured out from the beginning. Well, that and the tendency to hold outsiders at arm's length to avoid the appearance of endorsement. Check out Zeke's podcast on that topic.

eddieO said...

becareful bruced, you keep up questions like that and you'll end up pissing dorsey off and having him delete all your posts. god forbid you expose him for the self-righteous asshole that he is.

dorsey said...

For the record, I never denied being a self-righteous asshole.

eddieO said...

so then, why delete posts if they accurately portray who you are?

Mike said...

Sorry for the anonymous post, but I haven’t joined the blogging community as of yet. I’m Dorsey’s buddy Mike who will be accompanying him on this endeavor. I wanted to voice my thoughts and motives. It is a good exercise to question and refine ones motivations and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do so.

Why This – By some small act of personal sacrifice (time, money) to show love in some small but tangible way to a people group largely marginalized and ignored by those (including myself) who try to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I believe that Jesus loves the gay community just as they are, without qualification. This community has received a message of judgment and hate (love the sinner and hate the sin is often interpreted by those to whom it is applied as just hate). In my own relationship with Jesus, I have seen my own views and opinions change to the point where my own fear and lack of grace and love toward this community has been largely replaced by a love that is not my own. I feel compelled to act out what it is that Jesus has placed within me; to love the gay and lesbian community in whatever way I am able. This is hopefully a step, imperfect as it may be, down that path. I know a $5 gift card given in the name of Jesus and a short written apology for previous hurts associated with the name of Jesus isn’t much, but if we're truly the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, I hope that I might be a tangible expression of Love so that the Holy Spirit would be able to communicate the true message of the cross, that is, that Jesus loves all and is Himself Love.

What I Hope to Accomplish – I can more easily say what I’m not looking to accomplish. I’m not planning on carrying a Bible. I’m not planning on asking those I encounter if they want to know God or lead anyone in the ‘sinner’s prayer’. I’m not hoping to engage in conversation so I can promote my version of Jesus or western Christianity. I believe that God is capable of revealing Himself to all people through many different avenues. I’m hoping the words ‘I’m Sorry’ may help be a step toward healing and reconciliation. I’m hoping to make a gay friend because I want to see and understand the world from another perspective and set of experiences. I’m hoping that when someone uses a gift card to buy a Starbucks triple-grande-nonfat-nowhip-mocha that they’ll remember that they are loved. I hope that I’ll be a better person for having spent time with this community of people. I hope by expressing Love that is greater than me, that that I can become more like He who is Love.

What Will Actually be Accomplished – See ‘Butterfly Effect’. It is my prayer that such a small gesture may be part of a chain of events in a single life leading to knowing Love and acceptance and, therefore, Jesus. I have no other desire and only hope I don’t get in the way.

I appreciate all the thoughts and questions.

JimmyBob said...

Dorse, just because I ask questions doesn't mean I don't support the effort. In fact, I would join you personally if I was there, but I wouldn't bring my daughter (too much sex stuff).

My questions are only for the purpose of thinking things through. I don't see how that's "evangelical baggage." I believe it has more to do with my personality and logic.

You are prepared to simply show the love of Christ no matter the outcome, and I find that honorable.

I will pray that the Holy Spirit gives you the words to say if the tough questions come. It's easy to side step the sin question among Christians and speak only about God's love, but most homosexuals are really offended that anyone would believe their lifestyle is a sin. Anyone who believes that is consider a gay-hater. And they can easily identify side-stepping.

Just do what you feel God is telling you. I support you.

Joshua Sager said...

I would like to buy someone a coffee in the name of Josh. Hell, I would probably end up buying them a beer instead. It is great to love people, but I just hate that we think we need to outwardly use Jesus' name to do so. It seems like a front. "I might not agree with your lifestyle, but hey ... Jesus loves you!"

I would rather say to someone, " I love you, I care about you, I except you just the way you are. I just want to be present in your life" And hopefully through that they will catch a glimpse of Christ.

I AM very happy to see people loving people though. This is a great step in the right direction. Thank you Dorsey for leading the way.

dorsey said...

OMG, Josh! Would that be awesome! Handing out Newcastles to the masses! Talk about bridgebuilding! Unfortunately, there are some pretty strict rules about distributing food and beverage items at the event (bottled water was our original thought, but we're not allowed to compete with the vendors).

Thanks.

dorsey said...

Hey Mike,
You're the best. Your love for people is evident. I'm looking forward to this. Thanks for articulating better than I could.

Jimmybob,
Sorry, I didn't mean to give the impression that you weren't supportive. I was only responding to your "but..." and your discomfort with the apology.

JimmyBob said...

Dorse, It just catches me funny when leaders or people apologize for things that other people do or have done. But, I can see making a personal apology for wrong attitudes and behaviors.

I'm done being worried about associations. Those are insecurities I think everyone has to overcome - even non-religious people.

Bruce, I don't think anyone can remove their own sins completely no matter how hard they try. That's why we need a savior. I think the issue here is whether one even recognizes sin at all or even sees the need for a savior.

BruceD said...

Now, if you put your phone number on the card, and asked someone to call you when they wanted to talk over coffee... now we're talking!

I can see someone asking you why you're still a christian, if you don't hate them the way christians do. You say, "well I'm different". And he says, "then why do you still consider yourself one of them? If you're different, then you must be something else."

Now, do you write of christianity in general, as a whole? Or do you explain how you're still a part of "who they are", but you have different beliefs about some things. To them, Jesus IS christianity. They see christians (traditional religion) as Christ.

Could this be confusing?

If a muslim walked up to me and told me that his God didn't hate me and want to kill me, how should I take that? Do I somehow instantly erase all the negative images of bombings, killings, and destruction? One person "does not a religion make."

If it were me, I might say to someone like that, "here's a gift card for Starbucks on behalf of the Jesus christianity lost."

I can't really seem to sort this one out. But talking helps...

dorsey said...

Maybe what's hanging you up is that Mike and I are not approaching this in anything resembling an evangelical style. We're not trying to make a religion or represent all Christians or convert anyone or even accomplish anything specific, which is supremely counterintuitive in evangelical culture.

Jesus said that no one comes to Him unless the Spirit draws them. Paul talked about how he didn't rely on powerful words or persuasive arguments, but on the power of the Spirit. I don't have to be responsible for the outcome if I can demonstrate love.

I don't think I'll wipe out anyone's false perception of Christianity or Christ. The goal (and it's not even a goal. it's a hope) is that someone might pause and be provoked to consider that not all Christians fit their perception. Therefore maybe Christ isn't to be written off altogether just yet.

If a couple Muslim guys handed me a fallafel and told me that they're giving me this gift because they want me to know that Allah loves me and that they weren't like some of the Muslims we might have heard about, would I convert? Nope. But I would be encouraged that not all Muslims fit the mold I had been conditioned to perceive. I think it would open my heart toward them a little more. If there's something to be accomplished, maybe it's just that.

dorsey said...

And we have toyed with the idea of putting an email address on the card to encourage dialogue. Can I assume you think that's a good idea?

Zeke said...

One of the cornerstones of this approach is No Strings Attached. The only agenda is to do a kindness in Jesus' name.

I'm not making up rules here, I'm just relaying what the founders' intentions were for this. Dorse and his buddy can do whatever they see most fit... but I think the brilliance of this lies in not attaching expectations that this will result in "dialog" or "opportunities for outreach". No invites to attend church, no gospel tracts, no follow up calls. Just a kindness in Jesus' name.

So simple and beautiful, only religion could mess it up.

dorsey said...

That's the bottom line, Zeke. Thanks.

Ex Pastor's Kid said...

Zeke, that's right. Dallas Willard once wrote how good it is to "abandon outcomes to God, accepting that we do not have in ourselves . . . the wherewithal to make this come out right, whatever this is" -- and I think "Religion" is so bound up in outcomes that we cannot ever understand Jesus as long as we think we're "competing" for souls along with Islam et al. Thank you Dorsey for your heart.

Sable Chicken said...

Dorsey,
I think what you are doing is a good thing, and I think it is what Jesus would like you to do. It's to bad you can't give out water. But giving away Fraps is much more Metro. You better be praying like no tomorrow before you walk through there. I will be praying for you too. I am sure you will be giving these seeds out with much love, so they will be falling on fertile ground. It is important that this be done in Jesus name, not just love.
I don't think that you should put your name on this. It should not be about you at all. If the person is calling out to Jesus in there heart in the middle of this "Pride" day, it could be your card that let's them know that God is alive and is reaching out to them. You have done what God is calling you to do. At some point they will what to reach back to Him. If they want to ask you more right then and there, than it would be nice to give them your e-mail or just you point them in the right direction. I would give them another card with the Bible Answer Man ~ Hank Hanegraaff
http://www.oneplace.com/Ministries/bible_answer_man/Archives.asp
This is a free radio show that they can listen to on the internet any time they want. They will not feel like they had been "preached" at. It's mainly just listening to peoples questions that they have about the Bible and have them answered in a way that makes sence.

The reason I recommend Hank Hanegraaff is, because of the knowledge he has about the Bible. He is a good person to answer any question anyone would have about God. Not only has he helped people find the Truth, but he does it with the kindness, gentleness and with the kind of love that would make Jesus proud.

~m2~ said...

you don't know me from adam (eve?) and probably won't recognize me thru my paypal donation, but i just wanted to say that i applaud this effort, regardless of how things turn out....God knows your heart, He knows your motives; if one person is reached out to in Jesus' name and the person being reached feels it, it's totally worth it.

good on you, bro.

dufflehead said...

are you guys still taking moneys for this?

dorsey said...

Yes. I suppose we'll accept help right up to the event. Thanks.

Sally Sue said...

Saved by Grace...don't keep sinning just because you are saved. Jesus did pay the price but we are called to repentence not, "Hell, we're saved, let's just keep on living this way." I am with JB on this one, and I think God is too...

dorsey said...

sally sue, I don't think anyone here said that, but thanks for your anonymous comment.

BruceD said...

Sally, please don't read this in the wrong light. I am speaking softly with all the gentleness I can muster.

Have you stopped "sinning"?

It's amazing how much we underestimate the incredible power of Love. Sadly, many of us don't know this kind of love, nor do we seek it. But, with all my heart, I tell you that pure love changes everything.

As long as we think we have to change ourselves to measure up to God's expectations, we will always fall short, and feel that God's love then falls short of us. But, when we come to an understanding that His love cannot be earned, or obtained through works, we can receive it freely. And in that awesome level of freedom, we are drawn into the effects of His love. We are transformed into the man/woman He created us to be. Free from the burdens of doubt, fear, guilt, and shame... we will soar to heights of holiness we never could have imagined.

But, that's just my take on it (and my experience).

Sally Sue said...

I consciously try not to sin, I ant to be pleasing to the Lord and I want to know how he sees me. There are things that don't please God and I don't want to be apart of them...Why did Paul write to all the churches and advise them to stop sinning, to live the way God see us not the way way we see our selves.

BruceD said...

Sally, God sees you (and all of us) as "righteous" through his Christ colored glasses. Why do you worry so? Remember the "cross"?

It sounds like you assume that Paul understood the gospel of Christ and the work of the cross perfectly. That's OK with me, but all I can say is... good luck with that!

Sally Sue said...

Bruce, I know your view...everyone is saved whether they realize it or not. Why then do those who hear the gospel but refuse it receive worse punishment in Hell, who is in Hell if all are saved??? Why is there a Hell??I am not sure the gospel is clear then if we must believe in Him and He who sent Him to be saved??? Your gospel is confusing...

Anonymous said...

Hell was created for Satan and his demons.


(Goodness, what are they teaching them in church these days?)

BruceD said...

Sally, you doubt that God's love is big enough to redeem all of His creation. I'm sorry to hear that. You don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah. I'm sorry to hear that too. But, you have nothing to fear. God's love includes you no matter what you believe.

The problem with modern christianity is that most folks are willing to condemn everyone who doesn't see things their way... to hell. After all, that's what God does, right? It's no wonder there is so much rejection of Christ... people believe they are more likely to go to hell, than they are to be saved. I'm not talking about you, Sally. I'm just talking in general terms. I see the way christians treat others who are unloveable and unacceptable. I can't stand it. Sometimes, I really hate christianity. Sorry for speaking so openly, but I know this is a safe place.

Recovering said...

Dorsey,
I wish I could be there with you. I appreciate what you are doing.

I read through all the comments and the one thing that stood out was jimmybob's comment:

"But, where would you send them? How could any gay person feel comfortable in a church that believes homosexuality is sin?"

I firmly believe that if Jesus was to incarnate today and begin to share His Gospel with the masses, the last place He would send people is to "church." Why? Because that's not what He did the first time He came. Not to mention the lack of true loving, community-driven churches in the world today.

Why would I send any gay person to church? That's the easy thing to do and a sure way to screw him/her up. The more productive thing to do (but much harder) would be to offer to read the Scriptures with him/her, pray with him/her, and then incorporate him/her into your circle of friends. If he/she isn't willing to do this, then that person is probably not ready to respond to the Gospel. Taking a nonbeliever or new believer to an institutional "church" can be very counterproductive. (In my humble opinion)

Sally Sue said...

You are assuming BruceD that I don't believe in the gospel...I just don't believe in your gospel, a conformation of this world...all accepting of all ways of life...All roads do not lead to the same place. There is a choice that has to be made...He knocks, will you answer..What is the point in living for God now if I can't bow my knee later, not much sense???
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" Romans 12:2

BruceD said...

Friend, it's not my gospel. Read the prophecies of old. If Christ fulfilled the prophecies of old, don't you think it would be important to know what they are?

I don't recall ever reading a prophecy of the Messiah that said "he would come to give the world a CHANCE at redemption IF we do certain things a certain way." Correct me if I'm wrong, but the gist of the prophets was that the Messiah would come to save the world.

Sable Chicken said...

Bruced,
I really like you, and believe me when I say I think a lot of people want to believe like you. But we can't. Jesus warns us over and over about Hell. Why does he do that but for the fact that it is true. If I deny the things that Jesus said in the Bible am I not just creating my own god?

Maybe the most vile sinner might be predestined as one of God's elect. We don't know. Saul turned into Paul, the change can happen in three days (my experience) . Yet we are called to be God's loving hands and feet, but we can't really do a thing to make someone see the light. But God has some kind of roll for us in His master plan. We can't know all of it are even part of it sometimes. But we are called to be "fishers of men". How is this done? I struggle every day with this. The world doesn't want anything to do with this God of the Bible. "Hell don't work for me." Are we to pussy foot around it because they will be caught easier if we sweeten the deal? I try not to bring up Hell even when they are the one bringing it up. But that doesn't make it go away.

Really now, I hear non-believers wine all the time about how the Christian's are telling them, that they are going to go to Hell. I don't think it's true. Who is doing it? The GodHatesFags people and a couple hunderd other in-your-face Christians that are trying to jam a bitter cup of God's wrath down peoples throats. The sad thing is even if there message is true, it becomes ego driven and lost without love.

Our loving God doesn't need to condemn anyone to Hell anyway. Let's stop putting the blame on God and put it on Adam and and our sinful nature (if placing blame is needed). That's why he sent his Son, so we can be saved.

So the changes we hope to see in others, really are more changes happening within us as we learn to be lead by the Holy Spirit.

Always in love we need to remember, I fall short on that a lot. But God's love will never fail.

Sally Sue said...

"Jesus warns us over and over about Hell" This is all over the NT...the lake of fire...the wicked will go there...Hell is realy and it is the eternity of those that chose death.

BruceD said...

Only have a minute to respond, so I'll copy/paste this for you all (from the Message).

Rom 5:14 Even those who didn't sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.

Rom 5:15 Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man's sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God's gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do!

Rom 5:16 There's no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence.

Rom 5:17 If death got the upper hand through one man's wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?

Rom 5:18 Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life!

------------

Also, when it comes to Jesus speaking of hell, you should do a little more research from different translations and read the comments from scholars.

Much of what Jesus said before the cross had an agenda that most of us don't realize. He was pointing people to the law of death so that they would embrace a Savior. He pointed out to them the folly of their beliefs that they could reconcile themselves to God through their actions and attitudes. He demonstrated the senselessness of us counting on our own homemade self-righteousness to buy our way to God. He had to prove that our only hope was a mighty act of redemption which could only come from God himself.

(sorry to hijack, Dorsey. I'd be glad to take these conversations offline if you like... bruce@ybmt.org )

dorsey said...

No problem, dude. I'm enjoying the discussion. Have at it.

shelly said...

I wish I could help you out monetarily; unfortunately, I can't. So instead, I'll give you some moral support by way of a virtual *hug*. I totally love this idea.

Oh, sally...

Saved by Grace...don't keep sinning just because you are saved. Jesus did pay the price but we are called to repentence not, "Hell, we're saved, let's just keep on living this way."

I'm guessing you believe that if someone who's homosexual gets saved, then they have to "go straight". Let me ask you this: Do you expect someone who's in their second marriage to leave their current spouse and return to their first one (see Luke 16:18, as well as any verse where it says adulterers will not enter God's kingdom)? If not, then--IMO--you're employing a double standard.

Also, do you believe that Christ "became sin" when he died on the cross? As I see if, if you do believe this, and you believe homosexuality is a sin (as I see it, most verses on this condemn the act of homosexual sex), then it's safe to say that not only did Christ become a liar, thief, murderer, adulterer, glutton, among other things, on the cross, he also became a homosexual on the cross.

You are assuming BruceD that I don't believe in the gospel...I just don't believe in your gospel, a conformation of this world...all accepting of all ways of life...All roads do not lead to the same place.

Where are you getting the idea that Bruce believes that sort of thing? I think you're twisting his words around.

"Jesus warns us over and over about Hell" This is all over the NT...the lake of fire...the wicked will go there...Hell is realy and it is the eternity of those that chose death.

And why are you so hell-bent (no pun intended) on pushing this message? IMO, preaching hellfire and damnation will only turn people off to Christianity. Heck, I'm a convert, and I'm turned off by it! And if I wasn't a convert, I'd probably tell you to sod off.

What people want is hope, not scare tactics. How is, basically, shoving a message of hellfire and damnation down people's throats showing them hope? Maybe Christ did share about hell a lot; but he also gave people hope. Sometimes he even inspired people to turn their lives around without saying a word to them. (Case in point: Zaccheus. All Christ did was invite himself over! Just as Christ was dying on the cross, one of the centurions stands there and recognizes who Christ is ("Surely this is God's son!"); and, of course, let's not forget that one of the thieves who was hanging there with Christ asked Christ to remember him, and of course, Christ said to him that "You will be with me in Paradise."

How is one going to be willing to receive the hope that Christ offers when all they're hearing about is hellfire and damnation?

BruceD said...

The Kingdom of Heaven is inside of us, and all around us. Sadly, most of us don't believe that. The gospel of Christ is not a "conformation of this world", but a conformation of the fact that Heaven is with us, and if we will only wake up to that fact, we can participate in the world He brought.

As far as "hell" goes, we run into a serious problem of motivations when someone, through fear, pushes (forces) themselves to God. This becomes OUR attempts at self preservation, and we all know that everything WE do will fail. We can push ourselves to God all we want, but all we will have is a work of our own doing. It is worthless crap.

But, the endless love of God, demonstrated through the most incredible work of faith that has ever happened (and ever will), removes us from the equation. When we come to know what He did, we no longer have to PUSH ourselves to Him, like it or not, we are DRAWN to Him. When we understand how complete and accepting His love toward us is, it doesn't matter what WE do, that love will pull us to Him.

The fear of God is the fear of the unknown. Once we know who He is, we understand that He is not to be feared, but to be loved. We won't be able to help it. He is like a giant magnet, and we are like tiny fragment of steel... we have no power to resist. If we can resist, we don't know God.

So many of us don't know who He is...

Jim Jordan said...

Hi guys
I think this is a healthy and fascinating discussion. As for handing out gifts at the Pride Fest with a note from Jesus, why not? When I give a homeless person money or something to eat I say "that's on Jesus' account". It might take years of hearing these little suggestions before there is a breakthrough. It took them years to learn to mistrust the message of Jesus in the first place. Only our own pride would demand they do a 180 before we leave the parking lot!

But we shouldn't forget the problem with "Pride". A prideful person isn't going to have a real relationship with Christ regardless of whether they go to a gay church or a straight church. Trying to glue the homosexual nature to the self is a dubious cause, and we should say so. If I, a heterosexual, pray to overcome my sexual impulses so I will always be faithful to my wife and my God, why couldn't a homosexual do the same? Lord, don't let my sexual nature supersede my spirit.

Bruced
Don't forget that we are creatures of free will, created in the spiritual image of God, but corrupted by our sinful nature. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your philosophy seems to imply "everything's coming up roses".
We need to take sin very seriously. Sins are the barnacles on our spiritual image that keep us from looking like the Father.
Also, "love God, don't fear Him" sounds confusing. If God holds the key to everything that lasts, how could you not love Him, and fear Him?
"Love, don't manipulate". If leading others to Christ is "manipulation", I'm all for it.

"Kingdom of Heaven inside us all". I see it as a radio installed from the moment of conception. Radio station WHEVN is there, but there's also 99 Ho Jamz, Blathering Blustery political shows, Howard Stern, etc. Yes, the receiver is in us all, but I wouldn't say the Kingdom. Jesus wouldn't have taught us to pray "Thy kingdom come" if it was an inevitability. If we don't tune in to WHEVN it's as good as the kingdom not being there. Hopefully, that's not too many metaphors. Good luck to you, Dorsey.
Take care,
Jim

BruceD said...

Jim, I used to think about God in a very similar manner as you. I thought that way for some 35 years. But I don't any more.

Popular religion, who painstakingly decifered the bible into a step by step formula about "how to be successful with God", taught us all its doctrine very well. I no longer accept it as truth.

I don't know much, but I have come to one conclusion. God is way, way, way, way, way bigger than any of us can imagine, and His love goes much further and much deeper than any of us can even guess. The point to all of this is... if God desires that all men be saved, then I am confident that it will happen.

And as far as our "free will" goes... it's funny that we have it when it comes to Christ, but not when it comes to Adam. Have you read Romans 5 lately? Verses 14 - 18 have an interesting take on that whole free will thing.

And for getting all "sin" out of your life... well, good luck with that. If we want to stop doing things to hurt other people, we should do it because it will improve our lives, not because it will impress the Father. He is already as impressed with us as he can get.

dufflehead said...

i'm thinking the giving of the starbucks cards is good. adding ANYTHING to it is going to be bad.

it's being done in the name of Christ, why brag about it, or point it out. let's bring out "the hitler card" as an example.

say some nazis believed sincerely that hitler was truely right and wanted to change the popular opinion. how many would use a starbucks card that had a note in it that said "this is on Hitler's account"?

just let the act speak for itself. if someone asks, there's a chance to explain. adding a little note is like having a bumper sticker on your car. and for some reason we think that our bumper sticker reasons explain themselves.

Jim Jordan said...

Hi Bruced

Romans 5:17 you said can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift

Isn't that "free will"? Also, Adam became a slave to sin. That's what he did with his free will. That's what we do when Jesus is not our driving force. God's children weren't meant to be slaves to sin. God is free and His children were meant to be free.

The point to all of this is... if God desires that all men be saved, then I am confident that it will happen.

Agreed, but He will do it His way. That is all we know. You shouldn't predicate a worldview on a mystery.

And as far as our "free will" goes... it's funny that we have it when it comes to Christ, but not when it comes to Adam.

If you are confident that all will come to be saved, then how do we have free will in Christ? It's like saying "we can go wherever we want to, but we'll all still end up in Heaven". What about small-minded people who don't care about Heaven, like Esau it is "beneath their notice"?

On sin; Of course no one can succeed in eradicating sin. That's why we need Christ. But how serious can our commitment to Christ be if it doesn't change the way we live? You seem to be saying since we're saved and since we can't overcome sin, we don't even have to try.

You said He (God) is already as impressed with us as he can get.

Ha! Are you serious? God is indeed very, very, very BIG, but are we? And aren't you imposing a more humanized "Hit the Lotto" idea of "good" onto God?
Take all my questions as conversation starters, not enders. It's always good to examines one's beliefs.
Take care

BruceD said...

"how do we have free will in Christ?"

I never said we did. That's the point. We had no choice about being included in the sin of Adam, and we have no choice in being included in the restoration of Jesus.

I know this will be hard to follow, but bear with me. Christ brought redemption to all mankind. Redemption will lead to salvation. All are redeemed, but not all are saved, yet. Salvation is the renewing of the mind, body, and spirit that happens when we've come to a knowledge of our redemption to God through Jesus. Take a look at the rest of those verses. They speak of a redemption which comes in the same way as death first came. No choice. No effort. We were a part of Adam's fall, then through Jesus, we became a part of the reconciliation.

So, only those who have a "serious commitment to Christ" can be saved? That sounds like a work we must perform to find salvation. To me, that leaves Jesus out of the picture. When we have to go about proving our love for Him, then it's all about us. "Look what we can do!"

I point to Christ in all things. The cross, and that mighty act of love and mercy between Father and Son, is all I need to know.

Oh, and... I'm not the one limiting the scope of God. I'm not the one putting him into a box of my own design. I say His love is limitless, and I have faith that He will not forsake His creation. To me, Christ is everything I am not. He is my faith, he is my belief, he is my love, he is my joy. Without Him, I am nothing at all. And I won't try to be.

Rest...

Steve said...

jimjordan said: If we don't tune in to WHEVN it's as good as the kingdom not being there. Hopefully, that's not too many metaphors.

Yep I think it is....

You didn't really say "tune into WHEVN" did you?? Wow!

Mrs Zeke said...

Here is what I always don't get. If we the collective believers in Christ accept the mercy, grace and love of the action on the cross, and we did so as wretched sinners we are then why would we the collective offer anything else and not let God worry about the rest?

We can't save. we can't change, we can't convince, we don't know the right time nor the right heart God does and its His kingdom to have who He wants.

It is His family to kick out of and know the heart of man only His. SO why we are so determined to see all the sin in someone? He sees that person in 3D without all of our so called wisdom and sees perfectly.

Would you not like to give a cup of coffee to the next missionary who brings food to the starving mouth of an infant?
Or the next neighbor who takes in the abused child from across the street?
Or the person who heart is soft that is willing to stay up with you all night to listen even they have heard it all before cause you need them to.

We don't know who we are talking to but God does. I could if wanting to make personal points pull things from anywhere in the Bible but the reality is we are all just trying. Trying to get it right so that we can please the God we love not earn are way cause we can't. So why not coffee, water, bread, candy, soap, shampoo, a friendly ear or being told you are acceptable just as you are.

We all of us got some big ol butts sometimes getting in the way and we need to step off.

Your loved accept it so you can give it

Jim Jordan said...

Hi Bruced
You say we're not all saved yet. Then you say we don't have to do any work to gain salvation. What is it then? If the fruit of our faith isn't an impulse to feed the homeless and poor, or give coffee to gays on Jesus' account, or to happily serve our Savior - if we don't "get off of our butts" then that shows that we don't take Jesus' sacrifice very seriously. Understood? Is our disagreement only semantical or is there something else to it?

"Getting out of the way" means having God use us, not leave us alone. What good is it to be on the sidelines? You say "Without Him I am nothing at all" then I'll assume you mean "with Him I am something".


Steve
What was wrong with the metaphor? You didn't say.

This is just food for thought, a way of helping others sharpen their discernment of God's plan for them. Dorsey has a great idea, referring back to the original post. We all should look for opportunities to talk to gays locally, especially in one on one conversations.
A frustrating conversation, but a good one.
God bless,
Jim

Sally Sue said...

1st John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The secularists and world viewers hold this scripture up as if it is a benchmark by which to judge all statements and actions. Somehow coming to the conclusion that “if God is love then God would never say anything to upset me or do anything to make me feel uncomfortable, wrong or ultimately unhappy.” In turn if Christians are told to love their neighbors according to one of the two greatest commandments, then they also will not say or do anything to make me feel uncomfortable, wrong or unhappy either. Even self proclaimed Christians are falling victim to this mentality and have stepped back from an evangelical lifestyle to that of secularism. Some even go so far as to say that “God loves people no matter what and because of that He will just forgive everyone whether they want forgiveness or not”.

News Flash, God is Holy


When did people forget that a Just and Holy God must judge sin? When did the message preached by John the Baptist “Repent and be baptized” cease to be taught. Christ preached it. His forerunner John, whom Jesus called the greatest prophet to ever be born, preached it. The disciples and apostles, trained by Jesus, preached it.

I think the disconnect has come in the false gospel that has found its way into the world and the body of Christ alike. It is the one that says “Jesus died for everyone, therefore you don’t have to do anything, you’ll already be forgiven.” No preaching, no obedience, no repentance, no evangelizing…THIS IS A LIE! God, all throughout the Bible, has declared his Holiness and his judgment of sin. Jesus Christ gave examples of the angels gathering the righteous and the unrighteous in the last days and tossing the unrighteous into the fire. Revelation has a clear picture of mankind at the judgment seat being judged out of the book of life and those who are not in the book being thrown into the lake of fire. The New Testament message of the gospel is clear and it is as follows.

1. Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s standard
2. God will judge sin and those who commit it
3. There can be no forgiveness of sin but through the shedding of blood
4. Jesus’ shed blood was acceptable to God because he alone was perfect
5. You must accept Jesus’ shed blood for your payment of sin-debt
6. True faith in Christ will be followed by obedience (turning from sin)
7. Your faith in Christ’s work will make your soul become alive ( a process known as becoming born again)

There is no other Gospel by which men can be saved. The message has and will continue to be perverted by Satan and his following spirits. But if you turn back to the Word of God you’ll find that it is ever so clear that you must turn from your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your savior.

I heard James MacDonald preaching once and he said something to the effect that God’s Holiness demands that sin be paid for, then His love provided a way.

I hope people don’t misunderstand me here. Jesus’ death is a message of Love, and while the scripture does share that God is love we cannot forget that an all loving judge is still a judge.


Remember, sometimes love means having to say "No!" (You parents will probably relate most to that)

BruceD said...

I'm sorry this is so confusing for you, Jim. Sometimes I assume too much, and much is lost from the meaning. Think of it like this... God's love redeemed us through the work of the cross.

That redemption leads to "belief".

Belief leads to "salvation" (from the law, from ourselves, from guilt, fear, shame, and doubt).

Salvation leads to "peace".

And peace is what God desires for all of His creation.

--------------------

I can only believe that Christ redeemed all of mankind to the Father. That redemption is the starting point for a wonderful journey into the Father's heart that we will all undergo at some point. Trust me, I'm not trying to change the way you feel about anything. I really don't care what you believe. My only hope is to plant some seeds of hope into the hearts of all I meet.

To most people, freedom is a very dangerous thing, but it is also a very necessary thing. We are afraid to trust God that completely. To be free of the fear, doubt, and guilt that plagues us all, is the most wonderful gift of all. The mission of Christ on earth is to set his creation free from all that would bind them. And, if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

BruceD said...

COngratulations, Sally! You have officially been indoctinated into the "religious"! Good for you!

Certainly, like so many, you are not ready to hear the GOOD news. But, not to worry. Revelation will come.

Remember, if we have the revelation of Christ, nothing more is needed. But if we don't, nothing more will make any difference.

I believed the same thing you believe for most of my life. But, I unlearned it very quickly when revelation came. You will too. Until then, just breathe... and in between breaths, be kind to others.

armand said...

Great idea with the outreach. Don't let doubts about your intentions sway you back in forth like the double minded man James 1:8. There is no question that we are sinners, hypocrites, and work with impure motives. But praise be to God that Christ works through us to do the good works the father has prepared for us. So like the Nike commercial, "just do it". I have a lesbian couple next door I have been meaning to have over for dinner for the past couple years. I believe the lifestyle is a sin, but I don't start a friendship by pointing out someone's sin anymore than another non-believer. Maybe you could tell me how the event goes on my podcast in the future.

sally sue said...

BruceD,

When you said, "Remember, if we have the revelation of Christ, nothing more is needed. But if we don't, nothing more will make any difference.", that made sense to me. I see now that I've been mistaken.

The scriptures you mentioned are difficult to agrue against and you now have me wondering what all the fuss has been about. Please tell me more, because in my heart, I know you're right! I hope I can unlearn all this as you did. Thanks for your honesty!

BruceD said...

Sally, you haven't been "mistaken". You've only been making decisions and formulating beliefs based on the information you had. I was taught the same as you; traditional methods, resulting in traditional beliefs.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating... what you believe is not important. It doesn't change the way God sees you. But, it does affect the way you see God. That's the key to this whole thing, and the catalyst that changed my life so drastically. It's all in how you perceive God.

No matter how you see God, your life will begin to shape itself into your picture of him. If you see him as a benevolent taskmaster (traditional christianity), you will become like him! You will see others, and treat others, the way you see God acting toward others. If your God is a judgmental bully, demanding perfection from others, and expecting them to live up to his requirements... then you will be the same way.

What I'm talking about here is a radical departure from the religious views that consistently draw us into failure, doubt, and guilt. If we will abandon all we know, just throw it away, and seek God afresh, we might see him quite differently. If we explode everything we've been taught about him and his character, we could end up an incredible new understanding of life, love, and our relationship with our Creator.

But, I have to warn you... if you believe that the bible is the perfectly inerrant, infallible revelation of God, you might find this whole process difficult. Yes, it is a good starting point to understand God, but more often, it only creates confusion and doubt in the reader. It can be very informative and inspiring, but it can also be very complex and confusing. Somewhere around 30,000 brands (flavors) of christianity were born by the same words. That should start to tell you that something is wrong. Learn about the history of the bible, and how it came to be in its present form. An honest look can be very revealing.

But, as to revelation... that's between you and God. I can try to help someone by answering a few questions, but overall, if you will seek, you will find answers from many sources.

This all might be a waste of time. You might not have even been serious. You might have been playing with me, baiting me, to see what I'd say... to see if I would show you what a misguided wacko I am. Well, if that's the case, I'll save you the time. I know nothing but the love of God. And He infects every atom of my being. Beyond that, I am useless. But, I can tell you that I am, for the first time in my life, happy and at peace.

If I may offer one piece of encouragement... John said it best when he wrote - "God is love".

The rest is all just confusing fluff...

Great love,

Bruce

SteveW said...

Bruce,

When I read the way you write, so full of love and patience with others, I am challenged. I am also very thankful to know you as a friend who is helping me to see God as He is...a God of unlimited love...that casts out all fear.

Sally, it is good to see someone willing to open their heart to ideas differently that what they have always been taught.

Peace to all.

sally sue said...

"God is love"

You're right. That says it all. Give me some time to digest all this. It's not easy admitting the need to change.

Thanks again.

sally sue (sort of) said...

This all might be a waste of time. You might not have even been serious. You might have been playing with me, baiting me, to see what I'd say... to see if I would show you what a misguided wacko I am.

No, I do not think you're a wacko, but also do not think sally sue has changed her mind.

I apologize t you bruced that you took these coments to heart, but I am not sally sue. In fact, sally sue isn't sally sue. I only posted the repentant statements to prove the original sally sue that her anonymous blatherings were only as good as her name... which is easily forged in this case.

As an anonymous poster myself, I hold nothing but disdain for anonymous posters who come on the blogs and start stuff, when they don't even have the guts to show their real selves...

Of course, now I don't have the guts to show my real self either...

Anyway, sory bruced. I was busting on her, not you!

BruceD said...

No problem for me, Sally Sue. I enjoy telling people about the goodness of God whether they're real people or not. Like I told the other Sally Sue, it really doesn't matter to me what you believe. I'm here to tell you that God's love doesn't change because you believe "this" or you believe "that". The work of the cross reveals to all people that love is greater than anything, and everything. He paid the price for our disbelief, and by it, he became our belief.

You can say I'm wrong. That doesn't bother me. You can think I'm off my rocker... again, no problem here. I really don't care what anyone thinks of me, because I know what God thinks of me. That is the essence of life, and from it comes an abundance of hope, joy, and peace.

JimmyBob said...

Bruce, I love you man.

I just want to state for the record, because you may be wondering who the heck Sally Sue is... I am NOT her. I am wondering the same thing.

Sally Sue said...

Sally Sue here...yes the real one and yes Sally is my name, I just don't have a blog yet......
I have been thinking and reading on this all saved issue and have come across so many scriptures that are showing me that you gospel is so off...Jesus said...depart from me I never knew you...where is that person going? God is just and holy, not mocked...You are doing a disservice to the world by preaching another gospel my friend.

BruceD said...

It doesn't matter who he/she is. If they feel safer lurking in the shadows, I'm cool with that. Sometimes, people need to lay low, under cover until they are sure they're in safe surroundings. I don't blame them for that. I get beat up so many times, I should probably go anonymous.

Love to all!

BruceD said...

OK Sally... I will "depart from you" as you demand. I know I am not worthy to be included with folks like you. That's OK though. I'll be fine.

Sally Sue said...

Not what I demanded...I am asking where is that person going, those that don't know Christ, the ones he tells depart I never knew you...

JimmyBob said...

Sally, I need to clarify. Just because I said "I am NOT her" does not mean I don't share some of your views.

My emphasis was just there to show I wasn't the one posting as the anonymous Sally Sue. Interesting.

BruceD said...

Sally, my point was this. You will become the image of God. Whoever God is to you, is what you will aim to be. If Jesus rejects people, then so will you.

The problem is, when it comes to the bible, most people can't see the forest for the trees. We want to dissect every word with a microscope, and take each thought as it's own entity. We are so busy looking at the words, we miss the story.

What people miss in "the story" is that the primary mission of Christ was to lock up all of mankind into disbelief. Once it was clear that no one believed (as a result of all the threats, conditions, and rules Jesus placed on everyone), it was clear that God's mercy would apply to all equally. God had to put everyone into disbelief to that he could have mercy on they all. Including you and me.

We pridefully say "we believe", but all we can really do is konw that because of Jesus, God has mercy on us. Jesus became, on our behalf, everything to the Father that we could never be. He paid for our disbelief with His very life, so that all could see that we are worthy of the Father's love, even though we fail Him.

I guess I don't really expect this to make sense to anyone. You'll go on your merry way, thinking that you believe, and your reconciliation to God is because of WHAT YOU DO, BELIEVE, ACT, SAY, and THINK. When all along, we have nothing to do with it. It was all Christ. And the revelation of the cross redeemed all of us to God in one huge swoop. He did it, now we can enjoy it. We are reconciled, and if we really knew that, we'd be shouting it from the rooftops. But, we'd rather hunker down in our "correct theology" and our "sound doctrines" and pass judgement on the world, just like our God does. What a miserable life we lead. When we should be sharing life with those who have none, we cast stones at them, and hope they'll leave us alone.

Sally Sue said...

Christ dies for us all...yes He did but for whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life, let us preach that shall we???
JB...share your views.

Steve said...

I don't know who anyone is anymore.... including myself...

That's not a religious or philosophical statement... just a matter of fact based on this post....

I think we should all move on and call it even.

Dorsey - can you please post something else.... we may need your help!

jill said...

At the risk of starting another debate(yikes), how about those willing say a prayer or blessing for Dorcey and Mike's trip?
Lord, Thank you for Dorcey and Mike and their willingness to reach outside of themselves. Bless them this week-end. May they be a blessing to many at the Pride fest, on the way there, on the way back...wherever Lord. May You be glorified! In Jesus' name, Amen.

JimmyBob said...

Sally Sue, I'll do my best to share my views when given the chance. I promise I won't hold back. But, on this string, I would only risk arguing with a friend, which I think is pointless.

Besides, Dorsey's post is about gaining support for his mission, not about theology.

See you around. Just don't stay anonymous forever!

dufflehead said...

so how did it go?

preacher said...

Well, maybe this ~is~ the thing I have been waiting to spend my tithe on.... beats the hell out of the Pastor's Party bus to Greenboro !!!

dorsey said...

We got back a little while ago. I have a million thoughts. Still processing. I'll post soon.

Thanks to everyone who gave to this. We were encouraged by your support. Also, thanks to everyone who questions our motives and method. I hope I can have enough humility to be sharpened by the exchange. I've come far, but have so far to go.

More soon...

BruceD said...

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. I hope it was a meaningful time for you.

Society's Elite said...

Funny thing that this event was called "Pride fest", and yet aren't we all guilty of having our own "Pride fest" when we condemn others who aren't like us (which I am guilty of too)?

Thanks Dorsey for reaching out to share Jesus' love.

I'm inspired to get off my ass and do something.