Sometimes when we let a tattooed singer songwriter on stage at church he’ll utter a nervous joke about being surprised God is letting him on stage without striking him down.
Though it’s a joke, it raises something – this idea that God only likes the good boys and girls. That people with problems and faults and any kind of dirty past should serve, they need to clean up their act before they’re any good.
But I think God likes sinners. He loves them.
This doesn’t seem revolutionary, but I think we need to stop adding an asterisk, a foot note, a caveat that God loves sinners but he is redeeming them and doesn’t want them to stay the same. As true as it might be I think we just need to accept that God loves dirty rotten people even if they never change.
I’m sure this will come across wrong but I think the Romans Road explanation of the gospel does some harm here. It say that we are sinners and God cannot tolerate even the tiniest amount of sin, thus he had to send Jesus. I’m not saying that’s wrong, but I think that how we phrase it sounds like God finds us despicable and it makes it sound like God gets the heebie jeebies from sinners. Well, Jesus didn’t seem to mind as much.
So sinner, play your guitar for us. God will not strike you down. I though we left that idea behind 2000 years ago.