CHURCH – A GATHERING OF SAINTS AND SINNERS – HOPEFULLY

help sinner

Oh, dear, we are in the second week of January and nobody has asked my advice for a 2018 theme or slogan for their church. I so much wanted to be consulted! I was all ready to say – let’s blaze new trails and go to something like “repent and be baptized” or “trust and obey” or “stand up and walk straight” or “confess your sins and make restoration.”

Well, there’s always next year. But if any of you know a church that has leanin’s toward the above suggestions, please let me know. There are probably lots of sinners who would love a place like that. Some of them are hoping to find help and hope.  Admittedly some just want to join the crowd and church is a nice place to do that.

A few years ago, I went on a Jesus Quest, visiting churches to see where I could find some promotion of Jesus – songs, logos, mission statements, slogans.  I visited eleven “up and coming” churches of the Pentecostal persuasion plus some Baptist.  Six of the eleven mentioned Christ or Jesus in their mission statements; three had Christ or Jesus in their mottoes.  In online mottoes this morning, I find three of 135 who mention Savior or Christ – “Savior” in Germany and three “Christ Church,” London, Florida, and Australia.

There were mottoes that Christians would understand, but they don’t say much to the sinner who doesn’t already know the significance, such as Emmaus, Emmanuel, Resurrection, Unity, Cornerstone, etc.  Many relate to having a better more victorious life here on earth:  Passion, Growing Together, Great City, Great People, Great Life, Great God, Life Loud.  And of particular interest, A Family of People Just Like You.  I ask, is that what the sinner is looking for?

Maybe the sinner would find hope in “Come on in, we can point you to the man who can take away your sins, His name is Jesus.”

I’ve said before and my life (and writing prove it) I am “churchy” because it is instituted by God’s as his vehicle helping people know and grow in him.  The devil loves to find an isolated soul.  So easy to pick off when he is all alone.  Basically the New Testament writers assume Christians are going to meet together for fellowship and “researching the scriptures.”

Fellowship and teaching are essential, but so is bringing in the sinner.  There is no model in the NT church for Christians “winging” it on their own if they had a choice.  I don’t think John had much choice out there on Patmos.  (Now that is definitely a statement for Christians, isn’t it?)

Let the church at least invite sinners in instead of exchanging sheep.

(Some time ago I did a study on the “missions” of the church.  About fourteen or fifteen things that are a function of the church.  Think I’ll go see if I can find them.  Maybe some of you would like a look.  :D)

 

 

 

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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7 Responses to CHURCH – A GATHERING OF SAINTS AND SINNERS – HOPEFULLY

  1. all quite telling isn’t it?!

  2. shoreacres says:

    One of the insights of Luther that I’ve always appreciated is that saints and sinners aren’t two separate groups. Instead, each of us is both saint and sinner — understanding that helps to guard against that human temptation to place ourselves in the “saints” category, and most other folks in the category called “sinners.” Of course, there’s a sliding scale, and on any given day, the percentage of each will vary!

    • oneta hayes says:

      I’m sure you know much more about Luther than I. The main thing I know is that he proclaimed “we are saved by grace through faith, not of works” which is in the NT as well as one of the minor prophets (I don’t remember which). Eph. 2:8-9 says we are saved through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I see that as being “born again” as Jesus taught Nicodemus. Therefore, the sliding scale you speak of must relate to actions which are thought to be good or bad. Therefore some Christian’s “sin-meter” might be higher than others (sinners or saints). Sin-meter? How is that for a descriptive word. Saints are saints because they have accepted the righteousness of Jesus. The Apostle Paul pretty clearly recognizes two groups; however, he does one time speak of himself as sinner. I just have to take the weight of the evidence.
      I agree with you that it is not at all “religiously correct” to call oneself a saint. Most everyone would sooner be called a sinner than a saint. Calling oneself a saint holds one to an accountability standard that we do not want to live up to – like the term Christian meaning a follower of Christ, and suggests we should model Christ. In my heart, I am so thankful for the righteousness of Christ who atones for my sins and who calls me “daughter” among other endearing names like bride. (Daughter is on my mind because of reading Mark 5:34 this morning.) As always you stir my thought process and add to my knowledge. Thank you.

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