I just listened to a podcast where a comedian who is a de-churched Christian (i.e.: no longer attends a church but still considers himself a Christian) shared parts of his spiritual journey and unpacked his current thinking about faith and spirituality.
He’s got colorful language, does a lot of things that wouldn’t be acceptable in most Christian circles and yet still engages in ministry where he serves and shares the Gospel.
An interesting bird.
He said something I’ve heard many times before: Jesus didn’t hang out with the respectable people but with the prostitutes, drunks, etc. This guy took it a step further and stated that he didn’t think Jesus would have anything to do with white middle class Christians today.
Seems to me Jesus hung out with anyone who wanted to engage with him. He challenged those who were hypocritical and self-serving. Some were hookers and some were wealthy and some were sinners and some were saints.
The crowds that surrounded Jesus weren’t solely composed of the outcasts. Five thousand men, plus women and children on one occasion, most certainly from many strata of society. It wasn’t just a crowd of lepers and prostitutes and sinners.
Just as he didn’t reject anyone because they were on the fringes of culture, he didn’t reject anyone because they were in the cultural mainstream or respectable or rich or religious.
Taking pride in our irreligiosity and profanity isn’t any better than taking pride in our spirituality and respectability.
Declaring who we think Jesus would and wouldn’t hang out with, and defining the former in such a way that we are the ones Jesus likes, aligns us with the people Jesus challenged most vehemently.
He’s ready to hang out with anyone who knows they need help. He’s ready to challenge any who think they’ve got it all figured out.
He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.