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CBN.com Some time ago, Pat Robertson got involved in the ONE campaign, the purpose of which was to raise awareness of hunger and starvation in the world and help alleviate Third World debt. This included a series of television “spots” with the likes of actors George Clooney and Brad Pitt, musicians Bob Geldof and Bono of U2, rapper P. Diddy, and comedienne Ellen Degeneres, among others. Smack in the middle of this crowd was Pat Robertson!
Wow, did he get flack for this! (Like, this is the first time?) But one of the criticisms and questions was, “What is Pat doing in there with all those 'lowlifes'?"
This drove me to thinking (sometimes a dangerous thing) and reflecting on some of the people I had been hanging out and associating with in the last few months. I also made a perusal of my personal mailing list and what a motley group I found among them: old and young, fat and emaciated; grumps and fun-seekers; drunks (some reformed and some trying to be); dopers (the druggie type); a goodly number of liars (or shall I be kind and just say they overstate or understate the truth as they know it?); a few homosexuals -- like the drunks -- some reformed, some still wrestling with the issue and some who have accepted this as a lifestyle.
I talked with several self-admitted adulterers and those who surf the Web for "adult" material (the sex thing is a “biggie”). We cried with those who had abortions. We encountered more than a few angry people who abuse their wives and children. We met a goodly number of folks who are materialistic, power-happy and driven to be successful. Conversed with some thieves, although they would never admit it. After all, the IRS is the enemy, and for church-goers, tithing is an Old Testament concept, so it ain’t stealing from God. Also, spent time with a number of jobless and poor folk. Then at the other end of the spectrum, discussed stewardship with some millionaire friends who are trying to be responsible with their wealth.
And then there are countless oppressed, suppressed and depressed.
I haven’t yet mentioned all the religious folk of every stripe (these and racists are some of the most difficult for me): Protestant (more flavors than ice cream), Catholic (practicing and lapsed), Mormon, Jewish (Messianic too) and a whole lot of disconnected-from-God former believers and some who consider themselves agnostic. At this point, I have no Muslim friends but I’m open. No politicians but I don’t know how open I am to that. Although it was rumored that I had been seen with an ungodly Democrat!
Author Scott Turow in writing about a Christian character in The Laws of Our Fathers described him as “a man of ruthless temper, rigid, unforgiving, and a hard-shell Christian more excited by the damnation of the wicked than the eternal grace of the saved.”
Jesus's disciples had a similar attitude toward people who didn’t accept Him: “Lord, don’t you want us to call fire down from heaven to burn them up?” Jesus's response was, “You don’t know what your hearts are like.”
Paul the apostle reminds us, “Recognize there was a time when some of you were just like that!” (1 Corinthians 6.9-11 & Titus 3)
And the self-righteous attitude is basically: “We have a corner on truth, and there aren’t many who have the insight we do; nor can they meet the criterion. You can’t share with people who wouldn’t understand the deep truths God has revealed to us anyway. So don’t cast your pearls before swine. Thank God we are the righteous remnant! Jesus is coming back soon, we will all be 'raptured,' all those dirty lowlife sinners will be left behind with the anti-Christ and go to hell in a hand basket.”
Jesus's response to that kind of attitude is: “The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but save them.”(Luke 9.53-56)
Question: Where were you and what were you doing if and when Jesus found you?
Seems to me we need an attitude adjustment. No one is gonna change by being hit on the head with a big stick.
“So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing God’s kindness leads you toward repentance. (Romans 2.4)
“If someone falls into a sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out… Don’t be impressed with yourself.” (Galatians 6.1-3)
God is “kind to the ungrateful” and “loving to all he has made.” (Luke 6:35; Psalm 145:13)
I do recognize that, "Those who indulge in sexual sin, idolatry, adulterers, prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers – none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God..." (1 Corinthians 6.9)
However some thoughts:
Jesus was the friend of lowlife sinners. It’s a good thing or I wouldn’t be here. Who are your lowlife sinner friends?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.