“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” This past Sunday, I experienced one of the best sermons I have heard in a very long time. It meant so much to my heart and re-ignited the flames in my soul that had been dwindling for months. I always take something away from Sunday sermons, but this one blew me outta the water. It was the 4th and final week of the Cross Culture series at MorningStar Church. As Pastor Mike was touching on The Great Commission, I got lost in my thoughts and became a little frustrated. I typed out a note in my phone, and showed it to my boyfriend. Here’s what I said:
“I really love The Great Commission, but doesn’t ‘all nations’ also include all types of people? How come some Christians/denominations are so judgemental and degrading towards people who are gay, trans, etc? Some churches really focus on reaching the lost and unsaved but yet still look down on others. Isn’t that the opposite of the Great Commission?”
A few minutes later, Pastor Mike vocalized almost exactly what I had just written down. Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of ALL nations. Not some. ALL. You could take out the word “nation” and replace it with “people” and it’s the same meaning. So why are we still trying to make Christianity “exclusive”? We shame, judge, and ignore those in our own communities that are different from us in some way. It’s more than just homosexuality…it’s people that drink, cuss, get tattoos, and so much more. If we spot even one difference that we don’t agree with…bam…outcasted. We cross borders to love on other people, but we don’t love on our own people. Some people within the walls of our own churches are broken and needing love and support, just as much as someone across an ocean. WE ALL NEED JESUS. Why are we treating people like they don’t deserve to be loved by others and loved by Jesus? Jesus still loves them…we should too.
As Christ followers, we are all failing The Great Commission. Whether it is our personal words and actions, or not stepping in when we see/hear someone else judging and being degrading…we are all guilty. I’m guilty of it too. I’ve jokingly called myself a “judgemental b**ch” in conversations with non-Christians. How is me being judgmental showing Christ to others? It’s not. Personally, I think it’s really easy to fail at this…showing love and grace to other people can be very hard, especially when they say or do things you don’t agree with. But we are called to love others, even those who are different from us I one way or another.
I’ve been a Christ follower since 2009. I am not a perfect human being. I have made my fair share of mistakes, and I’ll probably make more. Some of those things will eventually make their appearance on the blog. I used to feel guilty and ashamed for choices I have made that weren’t the right choices. I felt that way because I have a guilty conscience, but I also felt that way because comments from other people caused me heartache. These “other people” were friends, family members, and people that I looked up to. Some believers, some non-believers. I often battle feeling like a burden and being undeserving of God’s love and other people’s love because of how I’ve been treated in the past. You know those broken people inside our own churches I mentioned above? I’m one of them. I’ve also battled putting on a brave face and pretending like I’m okay…but deep down, I’m really not. I love Jesus and I love the church, but I feel like the church has failed me and fails other people.
I’m challenging myself to make a change. It’s going to be hard. I want to serve others and show the love of Christ well. I can’t do that if I’m being judgemental. There are so many people in this world that are hurting and broken, and we just need to love them and give them grace. We need to be a light in their life. There really is no way to know how much we are impacting other people. Just a simple smile and encouraging word could change the course of someone’s life.
Are you with me?