He hangs out with “sinners”.

My first year here in Cambodia I was accused of being a ‘predator’ by the leader of a church because I would go out to nightclubs, reaching out to sex workers.

The reason I came to Cambodia was to battle the sex trade. Admittedly, I came to combat child sex trafficking but God didn’t open those doors. He opened doors to the nightclubs of Phnom Penh where not children but young adult women were working.

What did that leader think? I came all the way to Phnom Penh from England to stay in at night and watch TV?

I came here to reach out to the lost and the broken.

Often, in the clubs, the girls would stare at me with confused looks as I danced exuberantly on the dancefloor, praising Jesus, eyes shining.

The girls didn’t understand it when I looked them in the eye.

They didn’t see lust and sexual desire.

They saw the light of Christ.

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

– John 1:5

I wasn’t a ‘predator’. I wasn’t out to pick up the girls. I was out to help them, to guide them to NGO’s that might be able to offer them a way out, a training program or a safe house.

I was misunderstood.

Tim Keller, in one of his podcasts says:

Unless you are vulnerable and being misunderstood, you are not in mission.

What a statement!

Jesus was a man of ill-repute. He hung out with sinners and ‘women of ill repute.’ He let a prostitute wash his feet with her hair. He was vulnerable. He was misunderstood.

That’s why I had to post this by Mick Mooney:

As much as we love Jesus, I think until we allow our own reputation to become as trampled and dirty as he allowed his to become, we’ll never quite understand him, nor his message. Until we break free from the prison of maintaining a religiously acceptable reputation, we will continue to read about the wild Jesus in Scripture, but we’ll struggle to truly understand him, and the way of life he exemplified.

Read the rest of the awesome article here.

Steve Edwards

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