The images used in this graphic page contrast two different worlds, yet whatever the gospel is, it must have a message to both worlds.
The New Testament tells us that Jesus went about “preaching the gospel” and telling people to “believe the gospel.”
But what was that message? And what does it have to say to hurting children?
Whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a hurting and bullied child, “It’s your own fault. You brought this on yourself. Stop being so different. You have to fit in before we can accept you and we aren’t going to stop knocking you down until you change to be like us! Even then maybe not!”
Please don’t misunderstand, there must be a “conforming” aspect to the Gospel, but it is not a requirement to be accepted, nor is it something that we are able to do for ourselves.
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)
Any transformation we need will come from the Lord, the Spirit, but first we must see the glory of Jesus.
We cannot see Him when we are focused on messages such as “You must be like us before we welcome you, and even then maybe not because we remember who you really are.” (This is tue both for those sending this type of message and for those protecting themselves from this type of message.)
Whatever The Gospel is…it must be welcoming enough for a bullied child to feel loved just as they are without pressure to conform and change in order to be accepted, or eventually that bullied child may begin to see God as the biggest bully ever.
If you might consider yourself a “Church Outsider,” please know that there are churches that don’t have a list of all the things that you must and must not be, must and must not do. There are churches which will meet you exactly where you are and even offer to walk with you wherever Jesus leads.