IVP - Strangely Dim - The Vindication of Scum

June 15, 2009

The Vindication of Scum

Good news out of Denver reported (albeit in hushed tones) by pastor and soon-to-be Likewise Books author Mike Sares: in a dispute with his church's neighbor over noise complaints, the courts found in favor of the church. This from Mike's newsletter:

Scum of the Earth was declared "not guilty" of disturbing the peace in Denver court on June 4, 2009. (Say "Hallelujah" quietly.)

For the unfamiliar, "Scum of the Earth" is the name of Mike's church, taken from Paul's description of apostleship to the Corinthians (the first ones, not the second ones):

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. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. (1 Corinthians 4:12-13)

You have to keep a sense of humor when you call yourselves the scum of the earth--and when you commit yourself to responding to anger with love, to adversity with endurance, to confrontation with grace. Mike keeps his wits about him in all things, and his church is blessed for it.

Scum of the Earth isn't the first or the only church to find itself at odds with its neighbors, though it may be the most colorfully named. Scum went to great pains to accommodate its neighbor, which may have contributed to the court's favorable ruling. But even after the case is closed, the challenge of loving our neighbors remains an open proposition. Pray for Scum and churches everywhere to love well, and at the end of the day, to be able to laugh at the days to come. 

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at June 15, 2009 8:01 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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