Thursday, July 15, 2010

"The whores all seem to love Him, and the drunks propose a toast..."

The title of this blog comes from a Rich Mullins song called "Surely God is with Us."  The song talks about Jesus relationships with the worst of society, and His ability to show them love like no one else.  The song came to mind when I saw this video. 

(If you are unable to view the video, it is available at

I have been loosely connected with XXXChurch for a while.  Their pastor, Craig Gross spoke at Frequency a few years ago.  Also, I have encouraged men I disciple to use their X3watch accountability program for nearly a decade.  However, they have been the subject of controversy many times since they started going to porn conventions to share the gospel and help men and women get freedom from sexual addiction.  Recently, they have made the news again by doing mission trips to brothels where they improve the living conditions of the prostitutes and share Christ's love.

As a Christ-follower, I have often erred on the side of caution when it came to living and speaking the gospel. I avoided bars, tattoo shops and even "secular" concerts in an effort to keep my reputation unspotted.  Sanctification was the goal, caution was my method.  I was good at it too.  I had a great reputation.  I had never spoken a word of profanity, never drank and avoided people who did things like that.

You would think that since I was such a shining light of human purity, people would flock to me for advice on how I had remained unspotted.  Nobody did.  I did not know ANY pre-Christians.  Seriously, I went through a significant time in my life without having a genuine relationship with any person who did not know Christ.

I started to question why weren't people attracted to my "Christlikeness"?  People were attracted to Jesus all the time.  Crowds followed him.  Why wasn't I getting the same results?  I had to take a hard look at my life, and I realized something: Jesus wasn't known for abstaining from alcohol (in fact He drank wine).  He wasn't respected for avoiding unsavory people (He fellowshipped with prostitutes, tax collectors, and the dregs of society).  Jesus was respected for His unconditional love, His care for the needy and for His brutal honesty when it came to sin.

I had to realize that I wasn't being Christ-like by avoiding people.  In fact, I was just the opposite.  The lines I had drawn to define a "good Christian" had nothing to do with who Christ really is.  The result was that I was not effective at fulfilling the great commission.

I erred on the side of caution for a long time.  In some cases, for good reason.  There are some places I still won't go.  I avoid places where I'm prone to stumble, but not places that I think will hurt my "Christian" reputation.  I don't think I could ever go to a strip club to share the gospel, but I'm happy to sit down at Tried and True Tattoo and have a talk about the love of Christ.

So, what do you think about XXXChurch methods?  Would you go on a mission trip to a brothel?

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciated the video, and to see people reaching out in the love of Jesus to these girls is moving to say the least. I remember a time when all I wanted was someone to come along side me and love me out of my enslavement to drugs and sex, and ultimatley Christ was that lover but he used some of his wonderful children to be his hands and feet for me. Since then I can relate to the erring on the side of caution " I have done that for so long" although I would not be so worried about ruining my rep so much as them seeing me as just a goodie two shoes house wife. I would love to say I would just be able to go and serve but I would need God to seriously prepare my heart! Excellent blog thanks!