Within this past year, I've learned that it is the broken... the misfits... whom Jesus reaches out to. And yet, it is the broken... the misfits... whom are continuously pushed aside, deemed unworthy by our local churches/communities.
Luke 14:12-14 (The Message)
Then he turned to the host. “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned!—at the resurrection of God’s people.”
Within this past year, I've learned that so many people abuse Christianity and the Bible. We kill in the name of God. We push people aside because we think the Bible tells us to do so. We hate. We judge and condemn. And when one of us misfits speaks up - when one of us realizes this abuse is taking place - we're thrown amongst the judged and condemned.
I want to start a new church - a church which utilizes the Bible properly. One which goes by a true translation of the text rather than what our feeble minds choose to believe it says. One which recognizes this wondrous book as a guide... not a how-to-manual from which we can pick and choose what instructions to follow.
I want to start a new church - a church which is built on Christ Jesus, not an apostle, not a man, not an ideology. Built on Christ.
I want to start a new church - one which recognizes we're all sinners, recognizes God still loves us, but also tries to help people understand why we should strive to not sin.
I want to start a new church - one which focuses on two commandments given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Love God, and Love one another. Through love, all things are possible. Through love, all sin can be abolished (or, diminished).
I want to start a new church - one which recognizes there will be differing view points. One which realizes that we do not need to agree on every tiny detail. One which recognizes that unity does not mean agreement on every detail.
I want to start the Church of Misfit Toys.
Each of these "doctrines"... each of these beliefs... we misfits see it. We understand it. We're condemned for it, because some of it goes against conventional teachings. But what the misfits see is what God has put there for us to see. We don't need some human authority to tell us we're right. We have the Holy Spirit guiding us.
Granted, the following Scripture was regarding the apostles, but I think it fits many of us who want to spread the news of Christ:
1 Corinthians 4:9-13 (The Message)
9-13 It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We’re something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We’re the Messiah’s misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we’re mostly kicked around. Much of the time we don’t have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, “God bless you.” When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We’re treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture’s kitchen. And it’s not getting any better.