So, last week a little strip club and the church across the street made national news when their mutual protesting finally caught the attention of local news. It seems that the dancers and management at the Foxhole in Warsaw, Ohio grew tired of the heckling, harrasment, and just plain verbal abuse being thrown at them by the “good, old-fashioned, Bible-believing church-folk” at New Beginnings Ministries across the street. In the spirit of “turn about is fair play”, the staff showed up Sunday morning and decided to serve up a little of the same meal that the church had been dishing them for the past FOUR YEARS.
As a member of that same family who claims to believe in, love, and follow Christ, I’d like to sincerely apologize for the “crazy” relative we’d sometimes like to pretend we don’t have and sweep under the rug. But even more than that, I’d like to make sure that you understand that they DO NOT represent the God that I love and know. They don’t represent the God that chased, followed, and wooed me for the years that I spent going on calls, visiting countless hotel rooms, consuming thousands upon thousands of dollars in drugs, and desperately seeking fulfillment in reckless spending and abusive men who were incapable of loving me … They don’t know that God and haven’t the slightest clue about the type of love and passion that He has for women like us because, perhaps, they’ve never needed to experience the passionate grace, love and tenderness that way you or I have.
Just for the record, I’m more than familiar with all of those names. I’ve been called all of them … Whore, slut, home-wrecker, bitch, and every other name and biting adjective used to describe them as they’re being hurled. Maybe it was a boyfriend, husband, parent, sibling, friend, stranger, customer, or – God help and forgive us – the Church throwing those words, but let there be no mistake and no misunderstanding, ladies, YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU DO. Your beauty extends beyond the swing of your hips and the cup size of your bra. It remains long after your make-up has been removed and your clothes go back on. It resides in the eternal worth that God instilled within you the day He created the Universe and planned your birth. You are intelligent, you are funny, you are gifted, you have been given a chance to do something in this life that no one else will ever have the opportunity to do, and He has written a plan brimming with purpose and passion for your life. That’s phenomenal stuff!
If you feel nothing else for New Life Ministries the next time you hear about them, feel compassion and maybe even a little sadness, for nothing’s worse than not knowing the incredible, mind-blowing, hope-inspiring, and life-giving love of our God. Maybe one day they’ll discover it, but in the meantime, I’ll be praying for them … And so should you