Donald Miller lives and ministers here in Portland. His most famous work to date is "Blue Like Jazz." He serves as a campus minister at Reed College and worships at Imago Dei. I usually find his stuff insightful and encouraging. Last week the Church Leaders Intelligence Report had an excerpt from an interview he did with Christianity Today’s Out of Ur blog that I found helpful:
I think of love like a magnet. When people see it given in the name of God, they’re drawn to it. If I withhold love, then people believe I have met a God that makes me a hateful and vicious person, and they’re repelled. I have two responsibilities to this world: the first is to love; the second is to speak the truth.
My pastor is a perfect example of somebody who speaks the truth in love. He is a genius at saying such and such an idea is true, and it is hard, and sometimes I don’t like it, but we must trust that God is good; we must help each other, and we must obey. People feel loved at my church, but they also feel instructed, guided, and that God is not just a Deity who is there to give them whatever they want. I spoke there right after the election, and a woman, a homosexual, was sitting on the front row with a giant sign that said, among other things, that she hopes our children die, that the legacy of hate will end. At the end of the service, her sign was laid down in front of the communion table, and she was being held by me, and many others, sobbing as she had never heard truth being presented in love. She had not known the difference between a parental communication of truth and a judgmental, hate-filled communication of truth.
Adapted from an interview with Donald Miller, Out of Ur 5/15/06