No, that is not another Ocean’s 11 sequel and it has nothing to do with the Eagles playoff hopes. That is the name given to a group of Christians who were arrested after protesting at a gay pride event. The Philadelphia 11 were “preaching God’s word” to those attending the outdoor Philadelphia OutFest. The group also had banners with “Biblical messages.” They were confronted by a group of gay activists. This is where things get tricky. The report by World Net Daily (a conservative Christian news service) said flatly “the eleven Christians were arrested and spent a night in jail.” So I have no idea if anything happened in between the confrontation or how heated the event became. WND then reports that the Christians were initially charged with “three felonies and five misdemeanors. The charges were: criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, and obstructing highways.”
Christians have a history of being arrested at abortion clinics and gay pride events, which begs the question: is that being salt and light? I have more sympathy for those who go to abortion clinics and get arrested for simply praying (less for those screaming at the women). Now I clearly think the First Amendment rights of the Christians were violated, but that is not the issue to me. The issue to me is how to best be salt and light to a world without Christ.
One way Christians can have a better impact on the world is by taking care of themselves first. By that I mean, it is hard to tell the world (gays and straights) that they are going to destroy marriage, when the divorce rate among professing Christians is just as high (around 50%) than the population at large. When you have Brittney Spears, a professing Southern Baptist, getting married twice this year, we have a problem of credibility when it comes to the marriage (and morals) issue. As Christians, our marriages should be a reflection of the relationship between Christ and His Church. Once we live out that type of marriage, then we have more influence and credibility when it pertains to marriage.
Another way is to stop screaming at people and start loving people. Nobody likes “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Not the “sinner” because they don’t think they are sinning and not the Christian because that requires him to love somebody he might not want to love. How many people do you think have come to know Christ because they have seen Him at work in the life of Fred Phelps? I would wager not many, if any at all.
I think it goes back to my post on holiness. We must face each situation each person with the love Christ has for them. Jesus did not allow people to live in sin. He told them they were sinners, but He gave them hope, not hate. He brought the women in the well out of her past lifestyle, lovingly, but without compromise. That is where the Christian community is lacking. We swing to one side or the other. The conservatives are strong about not compromising, but too often weak on the love aspect. The liberals are strong on “God is love,” but weak on “God is holy.” The balance is there and for Christ to be glorified it has to be reached.