April 18, 2021

Scum of the Earth Jesus

Scum of the earth Jesus Christ? Am I mad? Does this offend me? Actually, no, and I'm not. Denver's Westword magazine pushed boundaries with this article about Scum of the Earth church during the week of Christmas over ten years ago in 2010. I've read it several times since it was published, and the magazine was in my car for weeks afterwards. I couldn't get the image out of my head.

The image is striking- and the name more so. Yet the name of the church and the focus of the article actually comes from the Apostle Paul's God-inspired writing to the Corinthians:
To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;when we are slandered, we answer kindly.We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of this world- right up to this moment. (I Corinthians 4:11-13)

Paul was doing the work of an evangelist, a writer, an apologist, and just being a follower of the God Made Man for Our Sake. Sometimes he spoke up clearly to his accusers and challenged them, sometimes he took it all in stride. Ultimately, the people of earth treated Paul just as they treated His Lord and Savior. But he kept on going, giving glory to God by the way he lived his life with integrity. A call we all must make. Are we friends of the Only Living God and therefore scum of the earth? Or are we friends of all the world, leaving Jesus Christ behind as a good man and as a philosopher? He said of himself that He is the Only Way to God (read the Bible's book John chapter 14).

Jesus' question to his follower Peter still stands today- and our eternity rests on the answer- "Who do you say that I am?"

(Art copyright Westword magazine)

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