One of my favorite parts of the Bible is found in Acts 10, when Peter has a vision where God commands him to eat meat that was previously against Jewish law to consume. First, Peter refuses, then God tells Peter not to call unclean what He has made clean. God was working on Peter in ways that mattered way more than just the food he was allowed to consume and later on in the chapter we see that Peter understood this. Verse 28 says, "Peter told them, 'You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean.'"
Peter sets the standard for us today in the church age. Far be it from us to look at anyone as impure or unclean. This is why at Deeper our first pillar is "Every Student." We've placed an emphasis on this phrase because Jesus was the sacrifice for every single person to have ever lived. Romans 10:13 says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." and finally in Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus says, "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
I'm sure at first this was a challenge for Peter to understand. Peter was a Jew and a faithful one at that. He believed that the rules that he followed brought him closer to God and he probably had a hard time understanding why Jesus would be interested in people who didn't follow those same strict guidelines. But the fact is, Jesus was interested in those people. As this passage plays out across the Book of Acts, we're still in the midst of this ongoing struggle. As the church, it can sometimes be hard when a new believer or church attenders don't respect the same traditions and guidelines that we hold so dear. It's important, actually it's vital that we remember why the church exists in the first place.
Deeper Student Ministries is not intended to be a safe haven for the "good Christians" It's meant to be a life boat in the middle of the rough sea. Those inside the boat working hard to reach those outside of it. Why? Because that's what Jesus has called us to be. One of the greatest parts of student ministry is watching the creativity that comes with every new believer. God has designed each one of us, He's given us unique gifts that we then have the opportunity to turn and use to worship and glorify God.