Jesus was unbelievably chill with people nothing like him.
In fact, the invitation Jesus gives throughout the New Testament to thugs, prostitutes, political zealots, pastors, and pimps was to simply follow him. Follow him before they believed. Follow him even if they never believed.
As followers of Jesus THAT is our invitation. People are not projects to be worked on or converts to be convinced.
They are just people. People made in the image of God. People who long for love, acceptance, worth, and security. People who want relationship.
When we get that, all of our neat categories go away. Suddenly we become pretty chill in relationship with people that most of evangelicalism has put in the “those people” category.
But I’m finding more and more I feel pretty at home with “those people.” I don’t trust the categories any longer.
It feels like we actually have a lot in common.
So, point me to the people, places, and parties I was taught to stay away from in Sunday School. Because following Jesus seems to always land me there.
You know what? I’m good with that.