Today I read a friend on Facebook complaining about churches and Trunk or Treats. I began to comment without much thought. However; as I typed I began to hear my heart and I believe the heart that God is shaping in me and I wanted to share that comment here (My friend’s name is Lynette):
I remember thinking just like you Lynette. I preached a sermon one year before Halloween encouraging people to stand against the evil holiday, about a year later I had a choice to make – help with an event at the church on Halloween or sit back and complain about it. I decided to help, by the end of that event it was my baby to handle for the next years. Two years later on Halloween we had over 25,000 people show up and many heard the gospel. I knocked on doors delivering prizes for months after that event, many times people prayed prayers with me beginning a conversation with God. Today, I’m not planning events like that… I think God has me on a different journey but I’m not going to fuss and condemn anyone for where they are on their journey either. Today, I’d rather have a beer with someone or play poker with them and really get to know them instead of just knocking on their door and pushing them toward something they don’t understand. But, I’m not going to condemn the old way either… instead I want to celebrate the journey.
If we aren’t careful we’ll spend all of our energy fighting instead of loving and being light. Jesus said they will know us by our love.
I know Halloween loving Christians and Halloween boycotting Christians, but I think it would be wise for us to love and respect both.
I know Democrat Christians, and Republican Christians and I think I understand the reasoning for both. I happen to be a more of a libertarian leaning Christian (Ron Paul style Libertarian) but I’m not going to say that you aren’t a Christian if you don’t vote my way. I skimmed an article today called why I’m a Democratic Christian and I saw good points.
In Ezra the religious Israelite people decided that the only way that they could obey God was to divorce their wives and put their children in the street all because they married Moabite and other foreign wives but in Ruth, Boaz is called the Kinsman redeemer for marrying a Moabite woman. I think those who took Ezra’s leadership were wrong, but I understand their journey. So there you have two bible books that have opposite messages… beware of seeing only black and white in a world where evil pretends to be good and sometimes is better at looking good than the better truth loving people. What I’m trying to say there is this, If the devil entered a “Christian of the Year” contest at most American Churches he would win by a landslide.
Sometimes following Christ isn’t easy and clear-cut. In fact, the key to the Christ life may include disagreeing and challenging one another without judging and hating one another, iron sharpening iron.
I’m getting ready to study dispensationalism, a theology that I totally disagree with in hopes of better understanding dispensationalists that I love. Why, because iron sharpens iron.
Lynette, I remember 7 or 8 years ago realizing that I didn’t have any lost friends… I realized that I was only hanging out with religious people. The problem was I simultaneously realized that I had insulated myself from everything that religious people might crucify me for. I’m still too insulated today, but I’m trying to learn to be IN THE WORLD enough to know and impact the world. The salt is no good in the shaker, and the light has no value under the bushel. Remember Jesus was called a winebibber and a drunkard. He didn’t get that reputation by standing outside the bar protesting its liqueur license!
Have a beer today with someone who hates religion and could care less about Jesus and then maybe we’ll all learn something about loving people who don’t think like us. That’s my 2 cents!