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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Church That Throws Birthday Parties for Prostitutes

The Kingdom of God is a Party: God's Radical Plan for His FamilyPreviously, I have written about Tony Campolo ("Tony Campolo and the Essence of the Gospel"). As I noted there Campolo is an evangelical Baptist minister with a politically liberal bent who ran for State Senator as a Democrat and served as one of President Clinton's counselors after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He tends to align himself with the "completely pro-life" crowd, which means that he opposes warfare, abortion, poverty, capital punishment and euthanasia. Needless to say such positions make it impossible to neatly fit him into the boxes we often like to place people.

In his book, The Kingdom of God is a Party (pp. 3-9), he tells the story of how once when he was in Honolulu, he ended up throwing a party at a small restaurant for a prostitute at 3:30 in the morning.  When asked why, Campolo responds
that anybody who reads the New Testament will discover a Jesus who loved to party with whores and with all kinds of left-out people. The publicans and "sinners" loved Him because He partied with them. The lepers of society found in Him someone who would eat and drink with them. And while the solemnly pious could not relate to what He was about, those lonely people who usually didn't get invited to parties took to Him with excitement (p. 9).
A nice retelling of the story can be found here, "Not Your Typical Surprise Party". It's relatively short, and I think many of you will enjoy it.

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