a sanctuary for sinners

A wise person once said that the Church was meant to be a sanctuary for sinners and not some glorifed hangout for holier than thou types.

This came to mind today after reading the newspaper article on Sitiveni Sivivatu (an All Black - Rugby Player - for those of my Asian and Eastern European readers just stay with me :P), who yesterday was discharged without conviction for assualting his wife. Amongst the article was this line

Sivivatu was a church-goer and a non-drinker, who had never been in trouble and simply "lost it" during an argument.

Obviously I do not know Mr Sivivatu personally so I am not going to comment on his personal relationship with God , however the article was written in that way that church is where 'the good people go'. I think that as a western church we have to get out of this mind set that church is 'where the good people go' .

Church should be a place where everyone regardless of what part of their faith journey is welcome. It is not the place you go once you get HOLY or to get 'HOLY' or to show off how Holy you are, it is a place to be real. This doesn't matter if you have been a Christian for 12 years, 12 days or it is your first time to step inside one. e.g at one particular church in Australia which is open to non christians a guy turned up to a service with a six pack of beer and after the service commented that he really quite liked the karaoke ( worship) - I mean how cool is that, that a church is open to meeting people exactly where they are! and be real about it and the God encounter he had.

We have to remind ourselves that Christianity is primarily a personal relationship with God and that our interaction with the church is multifacceted, it is not just a once a week turn up on a sunday thing, you are part of the church, as much as the church is part of you. Yes Church is very important to a Christian's faith but don't sell yourself or God short. In its full wonder it is a beautiful thing.

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