"Welcome One Another"
July 3, 2013
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:5-7
It is a rare Christian who can say, "I never had any doubts."
Life with its sadness and sorrow, with its problems and pains, trials and temptations can put us in a place where we are confused and, spiritually speaking, don't know which way we should go. It is at such times that God's people need to have someone who cares, someone with the necessary wisdom to help us.
Today I am able to share there is a group that says they are ready to do just that.
So they say.
The group calls themselves, "Recovering from Religion." A group of unbelievers, they are setting up a call center which is patterned after the "Suicide Hotline." When someone has a religious doubt and they're afraid to talk to their spiritual leaders or other family members, they can call the hotline.
Now I'm not going to take any shots at the Recovering from Religion hotline. I think they have a great idea. It's one of those ideas which makes me ask why didn't somebody in the church think of it first? I guess we didn't think of it because we just assume if people have a question they are going to go to a pastor or priest, a teacher or a church leader.
Yes, that's what we assume. And we may be incorrect in doing so.
In the course of my parish ministry, I had more than one person who wouldn't come to me. Maybe they thought I couldn't understand, or maybe they thought I couldn't keep my mouth closed, or maybe I, myself, was part of the problem.
So, is there an answer on how we can help these folks who have a question or a problem?
I believe there is.
First, we can conduct ourselves in a way which ensures our churches have a reputation of warmly welcoming sinners, and then letting them know how Jesus has given His life, so their lives may be blessed and their questions answered.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I have been cleansed by the Savior's sacrifice. Now may I live in a way that would lead others to come to Him. Let my church be the kind of place where we sinners can be assured of forgiveness in the Savior. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries