I just thought id share this song I've just written to open a discussion I believe is a massive issue in our church today.
Obviously because my audience is largely secular, the images I used to convey the message were more popular, well known visions of Christians smothering Grace with hatred, however I think the attitude is also very strong within our Coptic Orthodox church.
I guess more specifically, it really comes through on the smaller things. (Let's put big issues like homosexuality/abortion/single mums etc aside for now). I believe since the Arab invasion of Egypt, it has been inevitable that we have absorbed (unwillingingly and unknowingly) a lot of their cultures and attitudes. i.e. if someone is different than you, they are frowned upon.
Why is it that my parents and everyone else like them will frown at someone who has tattoos, piercings or even coloured hair? There is no theological reason to think of these people as "further from God", yet being bought up in the Australian Coptic culture I have been - Ive had the impression that anyone remotely "off beat" is treated as toxic.
How, if we are unable to welcome people who look different, are we able to truly welcome people who are different? I'm talking of people who need Christian Grace more than anyone.
In the words of Philip Yancey;"The worse a person felt about himself, the more likely she saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the church lost that gift?"