Mar 24, 2007

Playing with Religious Toys

Often people plaster big ugly labels on our religious foreheads based on how they perceive we interpret scripture. Unfortunately, we're often mislabeled, and doomed to walk around sporting false labels when they don't represent what we actually believe. The quirky characterizations in the list below spotlights how some in the Church of Christ play with their toys; sadly enough, these one-liners present a lot of truth.

The following list, swiped at Sadistic Desire, provides humorous insight into what other people think we believe:

  • Voodoo - "Let me borrow that doll for a second..."
  • Confucianism - "Once a toy is dipped in water, it is no longer dry"
  • Capitalism - "He who dies with the most toys, wins"
  • Hari Krishna - "He who plays with the most toys, wins"
  • Judaism - "He who buys the most toys at the lowest price, wins"
  • Catholicism - "He who denies himself the most toys, wins"
  • Anglican - "They were our toys first"
  • Greek Orthodox - "No, they were OURS first"
  • Branch Davidians - "He who dies playing with the biggest toys, wins"
  • Mormonism - "Every boy may have as many toys as he wants"
  • 7th Day Adventists - "He who plays with his toys on Saturday, loses"
  • Amish - "Toys with batteries are surely a sin"
  • Church of Christ - "He whose toys make music, loses"
  • Baptist - "Once played, always played"
  • Church of Christ, Scientist - "We are the toys"
  • Jehovah's Witnesses - "He who 'places' the most toys door-to-door, wins"
  • Non-Denominationalism - "Does it really matter where the toys came from?"
  • Communism - "Everyone gets the same number of toys"
  • Hedonism - "Hang the rule book! Let's play!"
  • Atheism - "There is no toy maker"
  • Polytheism - "There are many toy makers"
  • Evolutionism - "The toys made themselves"

Mar 19, 2007

Illuminating a Dark World

We have spent incalculable hours plopped in uncomfortable pews listening to the various ways we can build up our brothers and sisters in Christ. We promote every conceivable method to glue our members together; ice cream socials, finger food brunches, and dinner-on-the-grounds to name a few, yet how often are we encouraged to step outside our fellowship, and mingle with the sinner who really needs our help?how often are we encouraged to step outside our fellowship, and mingle with the sinner who really needs our help?

Often, after hearing the typical Sunday morning sermon, we are left with the impression that we are to separate ourselves from the sinner completely; yes, this helps remove their influence on our lives, but it also removes our influence in their lives. We can continue to ignore the sinner on their own turf, or maybe just wait for them to show up at the church building...isn't that a novel idea!

Several churches I'm aware of practice love to the max, but primarily among themselves. Too often we get so involved in our own church relationships that we overlook those on the outside. The church should be a refuge of love for the Christian, but not a place to hide from the sinner who needs our help.

Our light shines brightest when those around us have no lamps. Going into a dark sinful world is often scary and not very pleasant, but Jesus set the example of associating with sinners in order to teach them the good news, and if we ignore their silent pleas for help, we are missing the point and looking the wrong direction. Jesus set the example in Matthew 9:12,13:
But when he heard it, he said, "those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

Mar 12, 2007

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two
"wolves" inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Mar 7, 2007

update; the children are back

In an earlier post; Let the little children come, I wrestled with the problem of keeping children in Sunday School when the parents obviously could care less, and made no provision for their spiritual welfare. The three children mentioned in that post attended with their visiting Grandmother, but when she returned home they disappeared for months.

Just wanted to let those who commented on this post, as well as others that dropped by, that with a lot of effort and tons of prayer from the church, the Sunday School teacher arranged for the children to be picked up on Sunday mornings, and once again we're blessed to see their smiling faces.

God certainly works in marvelous ways; when we are dazed and staggered by seemingly impossible situations with no answers at hand, or on the horizon, He already has the solution. By trusting Him, persevering in our endeavors to solve the problem, and even quietly waiting for God's perfect timing, we eventually see daylight at the end of the tunnel, and the perfect answer to our prayers.