I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.” So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. ~ Luke 15:18-20 (NLT)
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed Him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” ~ Luke 19:1-7 (NIV)
Be willing to accept those who still have doubts about what believers can do. And don’t argue with them about their different ideas. ~ Romans 14:1 (ERV)
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. ~ John 13:34-35 (NIV)
Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. ~ Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” ~ Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT)
Ellen G. White
"Christ ate with publicans and sinners, as well as with Pharisees. When He was invited to their homes, He accepted the invitation. In this He offended the scribes and Pharisees, who thought that a Jew should not thus forget the wall of partition that tradition had erected. But with God there is no sect or nationality."
~ Daughters of God, p. 236.
"Christ would have died for one soul in order that one might live through the eternal ages."
~ Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 72.
"The entertainment was given in honor of Jesus, and He did not hesitate to accept the courtesy. He well knew that this would give offense to the Pharisaic party, and would also compromise Him in the eyes of the people. But no question of policy could influence His movements. With Him external distinctions weighed nothing. That which appealed to His heart was a soul thirsting for the water of life. Jesus sat as an honored guest at the table of the publicans, by His sympathy and social kindliness showing that He recognized the dignity of humanity; and men longed to become worthy of His confidence."
~ A Call To Stand Apart, p. 16.
"These souls whom you despise, said Jesus, are the property of God. By creation and by redemption they are His, and they are of value in His sight. As the shepherd loves his sheep, and cannot rest if even one be missing, so, in an infinitely higher degree, does God love every outcast soul. Men may deny the claim of His love, they may wander from Him, they may choose another master; yet they are God’s, and He longs to recover His own. He says, “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” Ezekiel 34:12."
~ Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 187.
"Arise and go to your Father. He will meet you a great way off. If you take even one step toward Him in repentance, He will hasten to enfold you in His arms of infinite love. His ear is open to the cry of the contrite soul. The very first reaching out of the heart after God is known to Him. Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it. Even before the prayer is uttered or the yearning of the heart made known, grace from Christ goes forth to meet the grace that is working upon the human soul."
~ Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 206.
- My Patient Revolution. Creating a place where everyone belongs. Interview with Mark Jobe. Leadership Journal, Spring 2005.
- “…diversity is about acceptance, about not expecting everyone to look like you. A more diverse church is seen as more welcoming.”
- Kinnaman, David. (2011). You Lost Me. Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church And Rethinking Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
- “I ran into Taylor recently at a shop in our hometown of Ventura. As she gabbed with a friend, I couldn’t help but notice that she had “Empathy” embroidered across her handbag. Frankly I was curious why that word so resonated with her. “When I asked about it, Taylor said, ‘Empathy is the ability to see a situation, an emotion, an action through Christ’s eyes and through the other person’s heart. When I have empathy, I begin to understand the love Christ has for the hurting and see the situation from their point of view. It is a way of humbling yourself and putting others’ needs and emotions before your own.’ “‘But aren’t you concerned that some Christians might think ‘empathy’ just means accepting everyone no matter what they do?’ I asked. “Yeah, a few people have kind of looked at me strangely. But empathy is taking on the nature of Christ. It’s the ability to understand and take on yourself the burdens of others. I have a huge heart for those caught up in sex trafficking. It’s an evil that rips away the innocence of children and treats women as if they are less than dirt. Though I cannot relate at all to their situation, it is through empathy that I am able to realize the inner hurt and despair created by this slavery. In our yearning to become Christlike, we have the opportunity to embrace His character.” (p. 183-184).