What if I stumble?

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

Preface to “What if I Stumble” by DC Talk

Click image for "What If I Stumble" by DC Talk Youtube Video

Click image for “What If I Stumble” by DC Talk YouTube Video

So, I ask my friend, “When you’re driving and a car pulls in front of you, do you ever speed up to make them think they might not make it in time and then drive really close to their bumper just to scare them a little?”

“Oh, no, I’d never do that,” she says.

“Me, neither,” I say.

I  should probably remove the fish sticker from my car. It’s not effective advertising. My flawed character often does more harm than good toward promoting a patient and merciful God.

A pastor friend offered strange comfort.  He shared that being a fisher of men is sometimes a stinky job — that serving the church is often “more like working in a fish-cleaning shack than a seafood restaurant.”

He reminded me that it’s God’s job to clean the “catch”, but He doesn’t always clean us immediately — before things get smelly.  He said it’s easy to mistakenly assume that church is a refuge for perfect fillets, but you won’t find them there — or anywhere.  We’re all on the same journey where everyone needs continual cleaning — but we can’t clean ourselves.  He added that church provides the best scale removal opportunities through the supernatural grace that comes from the sacraments, prayer, worship, study, and fellowship.  And, the cleaning service is free.

My reverend friend was confronted by an angry man who said he never went to church because it was full of hypocrites. The pastor replied, “Oh no, it isn’t full.  We can always hold one more.”

Seems there’s room in the net for everyone–even for stinky, crazy, tailgating grandmas.