While reading Shame Interrupted today, I found this quote by Luther:
Therefore my faithful request and admonition is that you join our company and associate with us, who are real, great, and hard-boiled sinners. You must by no means make Christ to seem paltry and trifling to us, as though He could be our Helper only when we want to be rid from imaginary, nominal, and childish sins. No, no! That would not be good for us. He must rather be a Savior and Redeemer from real, great, grievous, and damnable transgressions and iniquities, yea, from the very greatest and most shocking sins; to be brief, from all sins added together in a grand total.
Not only is this a great reminder of what Christ has done it is also a great way to invite people to church. I often wonder if we would do better in advertising for our church if we were just up front and honest. Rather than trying to convince people that we have the most awesome and put-together church, maybe it would be better for us to let those not yet in our fellowship to know that we are pretty messed up people. But—and that’s huge a but—we are those that are banking on and experiencing daily the redemption of Jesus.
Awhile back I put this little theory into practice and wrote this for our church website’s welcome page:
Are you judgmental hypocrites?
Yes. But that is not all you will find. You will find not only judgmental hypocrites but sinners of all stripes. You will find those struggling with addictions, you will find those wrestling with insecurities, you will find those fighting bitterness and jealousy, you will find broken people just like yourself. Our goal as a church is to be honest about our brokenness and to find refuge in Jesus alone. No matter where you are in your journey there is a place for you here.
I’m surprised that I wrote “journey”. I usually make fun of people who word things that way, but I guess I’m a hypocrite. Or maybe somebody hacked our site and put that word in there.