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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Come One, Come All - to the Oasis of Faith and Love

1. A fertile spot in a desert where water is found.
2. A pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation.

As a pastor, and one who strives to bring the light and peace of Jesus' unconditional Love and Forgiveness to all people, I do so tire of so often hearing this:

“You wouldn’t want me at your church I’m a _______.”

You fill in the blank. There are a lot of answers! What “are you?” What is it about you that you figure bans you from acceptance in the “church”?

A smoker?

A fatso?


Bar hopper?

Drug user?

Gay or lesbian?

Heavy Metal or Punk Rocker?

Lady of the Night?

Filthy rich, too poor, tax cheater, Social Media False Representer, Oprah idolizer … what is it? What 'shameful' label has been assigned to you by religion? I’ve heard the many painful excuses over the years as to why a person feels they cannot or will not come to a church based on the anticipated rejection due to who they are.

Pop quiz: How many sinners did Jesus call out publically for their sin? Did He berate the woman—the mixed breed whore, as she was considered by the religious—at the well? Did He make His disciple Matthew repent of his thieving ways as a tax collector? Did He turn away Mary Magdalene for having the audacity to sit at His feet and worship Him—even though during those times women were not considered equal to men nor deserving of being in a rabbi’s personal presence? Did He call out James and John for bringing in their mommy to try to help vault them to the head of the favor line in His kingdom? Did He call out the Roman Centurion who was a slave owner and part of a murderous military regime when he asked Jesus to help his ailing servant back at his residence? 

Take your time, get out your adding machine and search the gospels for the correct answer ...

Got your answer? Ready for the truth of the matter?

Well, hang onto your dogmas, dig into your doctrinal trenches and clutch tightly all your precious religious 'rules', okay? Here we go ...

AaaaaannNNDD … the correct answer is …

0 – Zero – Nadda – Zippo – Zlitch – Squat – Didn’t happen!

And it doesn’t happen at our place of worship either. At Shiloh’s Lighthouse we offer to all people an oasis of Faith and Love. We are building a community of people who truly desire to see themselves first through the eyes of Jesus, and then see all others the same way. I know you’re out there … you have given up on ever finding a church that will accept you. I invite you to come join us any Sunday starting at 10:30 AM—this Sunday we have a nice fellowship meal following the morning service. Once you’re here you will experience the joy of our music team, The Average Praise Band, as they lead in lively music and we all enjoy the freedom to worship together. After the worship you’ll hear me get real with God’s Word as we together learn more how to be the people God created us to be.

No labels here—just faith and love. I’m sorry you have been hurt by other churches, I’m sorry people have beat you over the head with the Bible to try to drive home their religious doctrine. I promise you that here at Shiloh’s Lighthouse you will not be judged, you will not be rejected. If you have struggles, we will surround you with love and be your family—your oasis from the desert experience you are going through. You are not alone. Check out our Web site SLM, or our Facebook, send me an email if you have questions. Come to the Oasis that is Shiloh’s Lighthouse and join our community of Faith and Love.

Keep the faith …


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Tracy Haller said...

I love it!! This is exactly what people think! I have heard "the church will probably burn to the ground if I enter it!!" so many times I could be a really rich lady right now! But thats not what Shilohs is about-I hate to admit that I was one of those people bound by religious labels and I believed them. NOT ANYMORE!! Thanks to Shilohs I AM A FREE WOMAN IN CHRIST JESUS!! Thank you God!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cuz for this... i think no matter where you go to Church we all need to keep this idea that God accepts US all...i am so sorry i live so far away to attend but i assure you if i ever get closer i WILL make sure i go... hugs and love Teri