The following song is an invitation. It is the song of a Father who welcomes the worst of sinners into His arms. He does not expect us to clean ourselves off before coming to Him. He wants us to come as filthy as we are so that He can cleanse and forgive us.

This song also invites us to think about how our Father is being presented in our churches; the kind of God we understand Him to be; the kinds of songs we are singing; the kinds of words we are proclaiming. If they aren't as forthright and honest as this song (not necessarily saying you must use the word "hooker"), and if instead they are "G" rated, psychotherapeutic words of a touchy-feely, "O" Magazine subscribing, effeminate god-buddy, then we seriously need to rethink the gospel we are declaring.

An honest assessment of our human condition, like that addressed in the songs of Charles Wesley (see my last post) and Charlie Hall (below), gets at the core of who we are. It is this kind of honesty about our sin, past and present, and need of forgiveness that glorifies the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is this radical, "X" rated Message that the Church desperately needs to hear: Come adulterers in your lies and hiding, come murderers with blood on your hands, come hookers in your nakedness and druggies high; come competitive, greedy business men, come envious, slandering suburban moms, come depressed, broken and suicidal. Our Father wants to embrace you as you are. Yes, our song, our sermon will repulse many (religious) people, namely the self-righteous, but that's what the Gospel does. On the other hand, it will bring in multitudes who have tasted for too long the world's unsatisfying bitterness; people who are longing for Someone to truly love them for who they are.

Hookers and Robbers
By Charlie Hall

Crack kids, track kids, hookers and robbers
The naked and hungry, mothers and fathers
Abuses, excuses, and guns in your hands
And I even welcome the arrogant man
I welcome you all to the biggest of feasts
A night of no shame
To pause and to breathe
This is a night of love's renovation
A feast I am sure that could change a whole nation

Me, I am not such an excellent host
I am one who forgives but needs it the most
I found the liar, the killer of hearts
And I ran away with a new way to start
I journeyed a road where a bright man appeared
He looked into me, and my eyes filled with tears
My breath fast and short and my heart burning deep
He gave me new eyes and a new way to see

So come as you are, as you are, as you are
So come as you are, as you are, as you are

I still defiled his great love ways
I felt such a famine when I ran away
I missed the presence, the voice like a song
I was nasty and dirty, I knew I was wrong
But he ran to me like a dream like a father
This love is not earthly this love must be other
He carried me home and threw me a party
A party so loud like the greatest love story
Oh my dear friend applaud now please
I've invited you heart to announce you are free
He takes your chains, busting you out of prison
Just open your heart, let your heart come and listen

Come as you are, as you are, as you are
Come as you are, as you are, as you are

Who could accept all your pounding and screaming
Your raging, your freaking, cussing, and beating
All while He holds you and always forgiving
This is the story of love and of living
Wipe off your tears and laugh just a little
Come break this bread, celebrate the Forgiver
Raise up a glass, a time to remember
Come break this bread, celebrate the Forgiver

Come as you are, as you are, as you are
Come as you are, as you are, as you are

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