Have you ever heard a church advertise “Come as You Are!” ? Did they mean it? Sadly, that shouldn't even be a question. Yet some of those same churches that say "come as you are" have also become notoriously known to be critical and even condemning of some of the external things like tattoos, your taste in music, or style of dress. Does any of that make you feel welcomed "as you are"?
Having experienced some of these criticisms first hand, it's leaves me wondering who exactly these people are reaching out too? Because if these "Christians" can be so quick to give people a hard time over the superficial things people bring to church with them; what are they going to say about the people that bring their serious issues with them? Issues like their doubts, questions and disbelief? Or their alcoholism, addictions, criminal records, failed marriages or whatever else is in their past, or even present?
On the other end of the "Christian" spectrum, you have the oh so popular televangelists who prey on the weak or desperate and have no problem selling you an "everything is going to be OK gospel" of health, wealth, and prosperity for your generous contribution of $ _____ (No money? No problem, just put it on your credit card!). Yes, somebody’s probably gonna get wealthy… but it’s probably not going to be you.
Nowhere does the Bible teach that our clothes and music will keep us out of Heaven, nor does it teach salvation is just a generous contribution away or even that Jesus went to the cross for your money, health or relationship issues. He went to the cross for your SIN issue (which coincidentally 9 out of 10 times is what’s behind your money, health and relationship issues).
Having experienced my share of the judgmental jerks, and money hungry con-men, I’ve come to the conclusion that there have probably been more "Christians" that turn people off to the Gospel and away from having a saving relationship with Jesus, than there are those who lead the lost and broken to His grace, acceptance, love and forgiveness.
If this has been your experience, I would ask you please, please DO NOT copy and paste that experience over the face of Jesus. He is far more than anyone can properly represent, and His love for you in all your brokenness is far greater than anyone can ever put into words.
We're not asking you to take our word for it. We're not asking you to clean up your life and join our church. We're asking you to come see for yourself if there is a place you can belong, a family to be a part of, and a God that truly loves you as you are, not as you should be.
Because none of us are as we should be.