In Chapter 1 of “the RADICAL reformission,” Mark Driscoll reminds us how close Jesus was to sinners. He was so close to sinners and tax collectors, that even Jesus was accused of being a glutton and drunkard.
Mark shares with us his uncomfortable, yet touching story of how he learned to be closer to sinners. He happened to meet an old friend, who once rejoiced when Mark came to Christ but was now a gay cowboy uncertain of his faith. So what did Mark do, you ask?
Well, he invited his old friend to church. Sounds like what we all would do, right?
But, as Mark puts it, his friend quipped in return that “it was unfair for me to expect him to come into my Christian subculture, since I was unwilling to go with him into his homosexual subculture” (pg 32).
Would you go to a gay bar with a confused and hurting old friend?
Mark went, and he recalls,
“That night, I learned that reformission requires that Christians and their churches move forward on their knees, continually confessing their addictions to morality and the appearance of godliness, which does not penetrate the heart and transform lives. In the end, I learned that God’s mission is not to create a team of moral and decent people but rather to create a movement of holy loving missionaries who are comfortable and truthful around lost sinners and who, in this way, look more like Jesus than most of his pastors do” (pg 35).
How close are we willing to get to people because Jesus loves them as much as he loves us? Are we willing to get our hands dirty?
Personally, I think we may come close to revival in our lives if we confess our addiction to our morality and start loving people because they are people and then confront them lovingly with the gospel. I really enjoyed reading this chapter. I would suggest you read it.
Here’s how he concludes:
“Reformission is ultimately about being like Jesus, through his empowering grace. One of the underlying keys to reformission is knowing that neither the freedom of Christ nor our freedom in Christ is intended to permit us to dance as close to sin as possible without crossing the line. But both are intended to permit us to dance as close to sinners as possible by crossing the lines that unnecessarily separate the people God has found from those he is still seeking. To be a Christian, literally, is to be a “little Christ.” It is imperative that Christians be like Jesus. by living freely within the culture as missionaries who are as faithful to the Father and his gospel as Jesus was in his own time and place” (pgs 39-40).
Which of the two are you: dancing too close to sin, or trying to dance close to sinners?