Continuing the study in Luke 10.
Sadly, we Christians are renowned for our negative attitudes. According to David Kinnamen in his book, UnChristian, we are thought of by 'outsiders' (ie those who are not involved in church) as firstly, antigay (91%), secondly, judgemental (87%), and thirdly, hypocritical (85%).
Luke 10:5 says: “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’
So what does it look like to say, "Peace to this house," in a context where that is not a typical greeting (as it may have been in Israel at that time). Surely there is a way to give a blessing to anyone we meet. We can find something to compliment, no matter what their lifestyle. And a compliment, (or blessing) is acceptable to anyone.
Tony likes to tell the story of a business friend of his who is openly gay. When this man first came to know Tony, they needed to take a plane trip together to a business appointment, and so had plenty of time to chat. This man was very surprised to find a Christian who did not condemn him but actively appreciated and complimented him on certain aspects of the gay community, such as their creativity. And when he did not encounter criticism, he was willing to open up about his life.
How can we say, "Peace to this house" in other ways in a Western context?
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4 replies on “Why compliments help in planting a simple/organic/house church”
A friend and I were thinking along these lines the other day. In Jeremiah 29:7, the Babylonian exiles were told to seek the “peace (shalom) of the city” to which they were going. So how can we bring shalom to our surroundings? At work we can try to set the pace for bringing food to the office. When people need someone to pick up hours so they can spend time with their family, we should try to be the first to volunteer. In our neighborhoods, be the ones who bring food over at special times like moving in, moving out, Christmas. Help people with their chores around the house. Another idea I like is that of Matthew Parties, which I read about in Bill Hybels’ book, “Just Walk Across the Room.” A Matthew Party is where you invite believers and unbelievers, the idea being they’ll meet one another and, Holy Spirit willing, develop relationships and opportunities for spiritual conversations.
Read your article! You write very good it! I would like to further exchange with you next! I hope you agree!
Great out-of-the-box thinking, Dan
Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, who in Christ has blessed us from heaven with every spiritual blessing.