- Posted October 13, 2013 by
Churchiness And Disqualifying Others
By Kenneth Stepp
Since my book "Churchiness" was published, I have received some of the strangest, and even insulting emails. I did expect that. All from fundamentalist quoting scripture they themselves have no clue about. But, such is life in the judging game. I'm working on loving more and judging less. I am convinced that I can love as much as I judged when I was a fundamentalist myself. At least that's the goal.
I have stories from my nonprofit that are heartbreaking. We get very few "wins" when helping people in the trenches. But this year we had a win. One of those fairy tale stories that keep people like me going.My story of a single mother I called Deb has also brought some interesting attention. I think I should retell, or recap her story.
I usually wake up at around 4:00 AM each morning. This day was no different.there. What was different was that I had meeting until around 8:00 PM. So after work, I came home at around 9:00 PM, threw on my shorts, and sat in front of my fan to relax. 15 minutes later, my cell went off. It was a girl living in a Walmart parking lot that somehow found my number.
Deb had a plan. She was smart and lucid (not all are). I threw my clothes on and went to find her. I told her what I'd be driving, and my front tag is unique, so look for it. Deb was overweight, mid thirties, white roots, and smelled awful. Cigarettes and BO, for the most part. But she had a great plan.
She had called an ex employer that said she could come back to work there. She got into my truck, told me the plan, and said. They can't see me this way. Everything she owned, she was wearing. I took her and bought her clothes, even hair dye. Got her in a hotel, and hoped for the best. I got home late.
I shared this story with what I thought was a friend. Her response was a tirade of insults. Why? Two reasons. I ask no qualifying questions. And it broke me financially.
She called me a selfish-dogooder (?), said my nonprofit probably wasn't legit, and I was a terrible steward of money. Much more, but you get the picture. The lens she was looking through was her church. She works there, and knows the church line. Ask qualifying questions. Sadly most, ask them until almost all of them are disqualified. Deb called all the churches in the area, and was disqualified by all of them (call it what it is).
My words to my friend were, asking these questions feels more like judging. She had been judged enough. And that I liked my outcome better than hers.
To not only show love, but to give love, is our mission. When we realize that everyone we meet, no matter their station in life, should be as important to us as we are to ourselves, we have learned a great lesson. One that Jesus shared with us, equipped us to accomplish, and has been overlooked for centuries. The first thing you read on my nonprofit website is.
"Welcome to American Angel Works, where everyone is as important as anyone"
I fight to live this out everyday. I believe that is our mission, purpose, and goal.
If you want to ask "What would Jesus do?" He would give love, not talk about it. I can't remember a time when He left anyone unhelped. Can you? "But I'll pray for you" without giving love is an excuse. I can't remember Him saying that either. I know in trying to raise money for those in deep need, it's more insulting than anything to hear that. And "We are all mere humans" is the same type of excuse. Search your heart before commenting with insults wrapped in scripture.