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Thursday, April 15, 2010

book review: "pure scum" by mike sares

“Pure Scum” is about the birth of the church “Scum of the Earth” written by pastor and founder Mike Sares. He talks about how the church is “…a place where everyone is welcome, a place that we like to call “the church for the left-out and the right-brained.” The name of the church is found in 1 Corinthians 4:13: “Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.” He talks about the struggles he’s faced, both personally and as the pastor of the church – decisions he’s had to make that weren’t popular.

I feel like the whole book can be summed up with this quote by Sares: “Could it be that one of the avenues to deeper relationship with Jesus is taking the risks that Jesus asks you to take - following Him where He bids you to follow?” For Sares this meant moving to a new place, starting a church, naming that church Scum of the Earth and countless other decisions where he must’ve wondered if he’d heard God correctly.

I love Sares’ honesty. He doesn’t hide the fact that he’s not perfect. He talks about the struggles he’s faced in his marriage, how he feels like he’s not the best father or pastor at times. He shares his doubts. I think it’s the fact he’s so real that I liked the book so much. He comments, “the times I have been closest to God are times when I have been literally knocked to my knees.” He’s fully aware that he’s only a vessel and God is the One speaking through him. “When pain roars into our lives, God does not call us to be stoic. He does not expect us to keep stiff upper lips. God expects us to let our true feelings out because he can handle our honest emotions. Jesus was forsaken of God so that we don’t have to be. He was cut off from God so that we don’t have to be. Jesus said after his resurrection, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He will never leave us. Never.”

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