First of all, can you imagine if the Finks put a giant sign like this in their front yard? The events of the day leave me remembering that we're not in Kansas, or Charlotte, anymore.
Second of all, my heart is breaking. It feels horrible that we've been here for a year now trying to extend a message of hope and change and love, Jesus's message of free grace and access into His kingdom through faith, and this is what kind of "progress" we see.
I know that non-Christians think (wrongly, I'd still contend) that our faith is about exclusivity and superiority. I guess I didn't realize that some of the most committed members of our church think that, too.
I'm at a loss about how to respond. I don't want to continue the chain of legalism by telling them what to do, and at the same time, I feel responsible for defending the reputation of Jesus and the reputation of our church. As I pray for guidance, I'm certain I'll need to do something. I'm just not sure what yet.
The Bible's message is that everyone has missed the mark and that no one will make it into God's kingdom on their own (which is what their verse says). But it's also that Jesus came to open for us another way by taking the punishment in our place and offering us what we could never earn for ourselves-- the free, unmerited, crazy grace and love of God, which we receive by trusting in Christ and not our own good deeds.
Don't people feel enough condemnation already? The Good News starts with bad news, but it doesn't end there. My heart aches to see the Church tell the rest of the story, the part about scandalous grace and deepest love, to a world desperate for hope. Pray for us.