Biblical Rejects

Check out the litany of people who got majorly rejected while fulfilling the call of God; I mean rejected to a biblical degree.

Abraham was isolated and persecuted in a number of the places he went.

Moses was chased out of Egypt, then chased out of Egypt again, then berated by friends and family as he led people through the desert.

David was chased out of town by Saul, and in fact spent a number of years in hiding.

The prophets were, by and large, persecuted, alienated, and killed.

Jesus, after a short ministry, was crucified, mostly at the hands of religious people who scorned him.

The disciples and their circles faced waves of martyrdom.

Throughout history, some of the most devout and profound followers of Jesus have faced the same, often at the hands of other would-be followers of Jesus who loved the law more than they listened to the Spirit.  Luther, Calvin, Edwards, and Wesley were all at one time chased out of town.

Imagine a community of faith in which the emphasis was not on making sure the insiders were safe on the inside, but rather that outsiders felt welcomed if they should risk showing up.  Imagine a community of Jesus people who were more interested in loving the blatantly sinful than in drafting statements saying what the sin was.  Imagine a community of faith that was, well, a bit embarrassing to religious people, because so many of the participants didn’t act the way religious people were supposed to act, because they are still broken and still working on it.

Instead of a community that complains about the pastor wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, imagine a community where the tattoos are a little bit surprising.  Think of a community logowhere you’re as likely to be invited to a pub as to a prayer meeting (not more likely, just as likely – and hey, you can pray at the pub).  What if there were a Christian community where you could say, “Here’s the stupid thing I did last week,” and have people respond, “I’ve done that too,” as opposed to being afraid that everyone was going to talk about you behind your back?

Some friends of mine and I want a community like that, a community where you can live real life and not be ashamed of it.  Rejects welcome.  Pharisees – probably not your thing.

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8 thoughts on “Biblical Rejects

  1. Oh my gosh. That’s it on paper (ok, my phone screen)…the philosophy behind Real Life that I just haven’t quite been able to put into words. But you did. Thank you. (Now I’m taking a screen shot so I can have it easily accessible!)

  2. The scary thing about being rejected is when you are already an `insider’ with all the religious credentials, have done your best to exemplify the ideals represented by your community of faith, and yet write/say/do something that is regarded by the establishment as `outside the boundaries’ such as praying with a person in a pub or inviting a known gay person to sit by you in church and go to lunch with you after church . . . and then see how quickly years/decades of faithful service can be wiped out with one word: “heretic.” And in a heartbeat the insider is outside, and most often can never find a place of acceptance in that community again. “He came unto his own, but his own received him not . . .” A `dark night of the soul’ where sometimes the night never ends: not at least until one hears the Master say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” For those in Christ there is always a resurrection from the dead, but not always re-entry into the community that has rejected them. Hopefully, such exiles can find an exilic community such as RealLife LA that will welcome them, `warts and all.’

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