ISO Tax Collectors and Prostitutes

I caught a great call in show on Sirius Channel 161 Sunday Night. Tal Prince1, a great champion for marriage, sexual purity, and recovery from sexual addiction posed the following question: What would you do if a prostitute, just off of her last date, showed up at your worship service? Great question! Two of the worlds more renowned prostitutes are listed as biblical examples of women with great faith. Here’s another question: What would you do if a known extortionist and money launder came to your worship service and asked to sit on the Deacon board? Jesus made a tax collector one of the twelve.

 

All of the callers that I heard gave good, safe answers. Answers such as welcoming her (interestingly everyone assumed it was a woman not a man. Would we feel differently if it was a man?), offering help or assistance through ministry and prayer, inviting her back. All good answers but I think we should challenge ourselves to take it a little bit further.

 

Matthew 21:31, 32 says: Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

 

I took two personal challenges away from this passage and Tal’s radio show:

 

The first challenge is to talk less and listen more. Jesus claims that the sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes, were getting it and the elders and the chief priests were not. What do we have to learn from the prostitute who shows up on a Sunday morning? Before I try to dazzle her with my spiritual gifts and well organized prayer groups maybe I should step back and listen. I’m sure there is a lot for me to learn from her (or him) about grace, adversity, hope, and faith. One of the best Tweets I heard on this question was someone’s suggestion that she would invite her to lunch.2 I loved that answer because it doesn’t assume that we, the “churched” have the answers or the “fix” for her problems. Rather it assumes that we need to enter into a relationship where we both give and take. It assumes that we enter into the healing process together.

 

The second challenge is to quit sitting around waiting for a prostitute to show up at my worship service. Instead, go find one. I have learned first hand that we have a huge opportunity to serve those with sexual addictions and other prostitute/tax collector-esque backgrounds within the church. We see healing when we leave behind the ways of the chief priests and begin to acknowledge the sin problem in our midst. As Matthew 21:32 reveals there is healing when we repent with them and believe. So, one last shout out. If you are ready to put your money where your Hymnal is check out Hookers for Jesus and help a prostitute find a worship service.3 After all they may be entering the kingdom ahead of us. Praise God!

 

1 For more information on Tal and his Sirius show ‘Tal Prince Live’ check out www.talprincelive.com or check him out on Twitter www.twitter.com/talprince

2 This answer came from Crystal Renaud, another great champion for sexual purity. Check her out at www.pinkhairedgirl.net or www.twitter.com/pinkhairedgirl to learn more about women and sexual addiction.

3 For more information on Annie Lobert and Hookers for Jesus, a Las Vegas based ministry offering outreach and transitional assistance to women and men exiting the sex trade industry, check out www.hookersforjesus.net  

 

If these sites interested you I also recommend checking out Craig Gross and XXXChurch at www.craiggross.com and www.xxxchurch.com, New Life Ministries and Every Man’s Battle at www.newlife.com; and Desert Stream at www.dsm.us.churchinsight.com 

I MOVED ALL THE  COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS HOST SITE

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5 Comments

Filed under Bible, blog, christianity, church, faith, inspiration, Uncategorized

5 responses to “ISO Tax Collectors and Prostitutes

  1. Nicole Wick

    Crystal Renaud
    thanks for the shout-out!!
    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 – 02:12 AM

  2. Nicole Wick

    Tal Prince
    Thanks for listening to the show, and thanks for the shout out and link love!

    I pastor a unique community of Christ followers and seekers that is made up of people that many, or sadly most, churches do not want. Almost everyone has been through some type of sexual addiction, or sexual issue. We have porn addicts, adulterers, registered sex offenders (yes pedophiles), homosexuals and an entire host of drug addicts and alcoholics.

    We have a blast watching Jesus change all of our lives and continue to transform us into his image.

    The challenge has been that so many people won’t come because they don’t want to be identified with “those people.” Churches never supported us financially, and still don’t. One church that was considering allowing us to use their space for worship on Sunday nights backed out. When asked why they responded, “We’re worried about the type of people you attract.” I replied, “what type of people? Sinners? Yeah probably shouldn’t have THEM around.”

    I speak in churches across the nation on porn and sex addiction. The hardest part is the number of people that quietly confess their struggles to me, but tell me they can’t get help because they fear their church’s response.

    A while back, I wrote a series of articles on sexual addiction for a Baptist paper. After the article on homosexuality, I received 30 death threats. Why? Because I asked the question, do we believe that God is going to cut some a break because at least their sexual sin was hetero?

    The climate has got to change – we must understand that Jesus calls us out in the Sermon on the Mount. He tells us we are all murderers and adulterers. Sin is sin is sin is sin. The church, like our show, needs to be a Pharisee free zone.

    I’m thankful that Jesus is for sinners like me. You get it, and I’m thankful for you! Thanks for listening, thanks for writing!
    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 – 07:38 AM

  3. Anonymous

    RevDHW
    For some reason I can’t read all of the blog post. I could read the comments, though. There is an advantage to ministering to people who actually know they are sinners, namely that they actually know they are sinners.
    I frequently start our church services off with a reminder that we’re all sinners here. To go back to the Prodigal Son parable, the worst sinner in that parable isn’t the prodigal, it’s the elder brother. Why? Because he doesn’t see his sin.
    I can’t see shutting anyone out of a church building. I can see security issues mixing known pedophiles with children. Love may be flexible; trust is fragile. Love will find a way to create a secure environment.
    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 – 01:41 PM

  4. Anonymous

    Katy
    I’m also not able to read all the content of the blog but the comments are intact. I’m very happy to hear there is a mission to help people who have not had a welcoming reception to God’s word. As a parent I can understand a church’s security concern hosting a group of people who have a pediphile history but am sadened that a compromise such as allowing the building to be used for a worship group at a time when the building could be used just for this group or at least when there are no children activities scheduled. Everyone should have the opportunity to find their faith and be able to study and worship. I have always had a hard time with the “christian” attitude towards homosexuals. I have a friend who is openly gay and I have a side job with a company whose philosophy of priorities is God first family second and career third. I invited my friend to an event and she was interested in the job opportunity but was concerned how the openly christian folks would react to her sexuality and so she passed on working with me in this group. I think it is a sad, sad state of things that this attitude is wide spread not the exception.

    I like the comparison to the prodigal son parable. That is a side of the story I have never thought of.
    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 – 10:43 PM

  5. Nicole Wick

    Hey! You have a nice blog. Thanks for sending me your way. Glad your moving to WordPress. Go check out my new look courtesy of my hubby who works on WordPress blogs. Give us a heads up if you want some help.

    Ginger
    Friday, May 22, 2009 – 09:18 AM

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