Thursday, August 7, 2008

...Am I Supposed to Be Nice or Not?

The problem with blogging around is that you run into a lot of opinions. A lot of people very passionate about their brand of service, their salvation and their life for God. So passionate, in fact, that they have come to believe that their way is the only way. You aren't a "true" Christian unless you attend this church, read this translation, home school your kids, only wear skirts, make your own clothes, etc, etc. Or you aren't a true Christian unless you tell everybody you meet the God awful truth about themselves. "Hi, you are a filthy sinner, you're going to Hell." There's more to that, but I stopped listening.

I once heard a sermon, don't know the guy's name, but he was telling everyone his story. It was a good story. He lived near a small town, not small small, but less than 50,000 and he decided, before he found Christ, that what that town needed was a strip club. So, he opened up a strip club, and on the side a little pharmaceutical sales. He was one of the largest employers in town, then one day Christ got a hold of him and bam, he realized that a strip club was degrading to women, and he'd shut it down immediately. He felt bad that he was putting so many people out of work, that he hired them to help with the pharmaceutical business. What was more, was he felt that selling coke was ok if he tithed on it.

He told that story to convey the fact that your opinion doesn't matter. You may have the power to judge, but you don't have the power to convict. He tithed on his coke business for years until the Holy Spirit convicted him. But until he was convicted by the Holy Spirit, he was judging his fellow parishioners and their lack of tithing. He of course became a full time pastor, but that story has always stuck with me. He did not see what was wrong with tithing on coke money, I'm sure many people told him it wasn't right, but he wouldn't listen.

It's like calling up your prodigal and lecturing him or her about their wayward ways. They aren't going to hear it, you are just their stupid parent who never had any fun anyway. I'm sure that some people need to be smacked up side the head and told the awful truth, but I'm also sure that that approach wouldn't work on everyone.

I'm not always nice, in fact niceness for the sake of niceness bothers me. But really, you want me to make my neighbor a cake and take it to them and then tell them they are going to Hell, is that really the best approach. Or better yet, leave out the cake and just confront them on their lawn. Of course the confronters don't want you to be "nicer than God", so be mean. "Hi drunk bastard, how's your slutty girlfriend? Hope you and all your evil friends enjoy Hell, cause that's where you are going." Honk, honk as I drive away in my Jesus mobile. Or "oh I see you read the NIV, you know you'll spend eternity in the pit of Hell with all the other unbelievers, to really get to know God you must read it in His translation, the KJV." or "I see you let your daughter move away to college, I hope you all enjoy spending eternity together in Hell, you shouldn't let your daughter move anywhere but directly to her husband's home."

I may be exaggerating, but not by much. People aren't being saved because we are nice or we are "telling it like it is", people aren't being saved because we all look like a bunch of idiots, more concerned with which translation everyone else is reading and not reading our own Bible. If you go directly to God each and every day and seek His will for your day I don't think this would be an issue. And as for the Bible translators, I don't think they got into that line of work so that they could misinterpret the Bible for millions of readers. Can you imagine the accountability they have. No thanks.


Tracey said...


Megan said...

My uncle was asked to be a pastor for this small church that had a building and about five members. They insisted on only the King James version, no remotely modern music (my aunt tried to intersperse a little of that. Even though they knew at the beginning my uncle was married to his second wife, they brought up how divorce was just about the worst thing there was. They criticized his daughter for reading an NIV Teen version Bible, ladies for wearing pants (even though more than half the men wore jeans), any leadership role my aunt took on, etc.. My uncle lasted more than a year before he said he was more interested in saving souls than their running a church where they could be right all the time. I visited a time or two and cannot believe they lasted as long as they did.

DA Wagners said...

Now THAT was a great read!!! I loved your made-up dialogue to the neighbor and the Jesus mobile image! I needed a good smacking!

Click this and I will send you flair:)

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