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Accusations and Acceptance; A Bit More of My Testimony March 23, 2011

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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John 8:1-11
I was born and raised in Lewiston, Idaho. We moved there from a very small town up the river when I was about six. I attended the same elementary school from Kindergarten through sixth grade and had friends there that I had literally known all my life. In seventh grade, I simply followed the crowd to the junior high school. We all knew each other and life was relatively easy.
The summer before my eighth grade year we moved “downtown” to the “tough” junior high. I went alone. I had no known associates. I had no friends. I did not fit in anywhere. I was not a jock nor a brain nor a band geek, nothing. I was nothing and fit in with no one. You cannot survive in the world very long when you are all alone.
There was one group that let me in. They accepted me because they accept everyone, the pot heads. They did not care who I was. They are social outcasts like I was. I hung out with them. I went to their parties. I did not however participate in “all” their extracurricular activities, I just wasn’t in to it. I had my life threatened once or twice, but once they learned I was not a threat to their hobby, I was welcomed fully. There was however, another problem. My school friends did not line up with my church friends.
As a young teenager involved in church, I did what all good kids do; I went to youth group. I did not get to participate in all of their activities either. We did not have the money for me to be able to go on youth retreats and other outings. I was also needed to work and keep the house running properly. We still had all of our responsibilities and “fun” with the youth group was not necessarily one of them. So, I never really fit in anywhere. My school friends did not line up with my church friends and my church friends thought that was awful. I was accused of being all kinds of things, mostly by the youth group. I wondered where compassion and understanding fit in there. I thought about what Jesus said, something about casting the first stone. When I went to youth meetings on Wednesdays, I was ignored; shunned is probably the better term to use here. So, even in church, I found myself alone. This should not be.
The one place I should have felt at home and accepted was the one place I received the greatest criticism. We should not look down from our ivory towers with our elitist views and condemn the world around us as if we are better than it is. This was not the approach Jesus took. Jesus said He did not come to condemn the world. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. I was lost; both in my sin and in my solitude. Had I even one true ally, I may never have left the church, but the place I looked to for acceptance I found only condemnation.
What about you? Do you welcome the “undesirables, unlovely and unwanted” in your church? Do not be the one to run off another who is seeking any kindness. We never know their circumstances.
If you have questions or comments about something you read here today or on any other post, feel free to contact me by email : churchconcerns@yahoo.com



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