Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Food for Thought

I picked up a book called Peppermint-Filled Pinatas on Saturday night while waiting for my wife and sister-in-law to "primp" themselves up before a wedding reception. With nothing to do, I had committed a cardinal sin: I didn't have a book with me. Fortunately, my sister-in-law had brought this book with her and so I retreated to the car to retrieve it.

Not too enthused by the title (it seems a little gimmicky), I was still intrigued by its contents - and it was certainly better than the alternative (sitting around for 25 minutes, doing absolutely nothing). So I opened it up and started reading. I immediately became interested in the book and I plan on reading it in its entirey at some point in the future. Specifically, here is one quote that caught my attention:

We tend to judge people who do not know Christ by the same standards we have for ourselves. We should not be surprised when people who have not surrendered their lives to God live indifferently. If we struggle to measure up to our high standards with God’s help and intervention in our lives, how can we possibly have the same expectations for others who have not sought or received God’s forgiveness and strength? It’s like getting mad at Stevie Wonder for not waving at us when we walk past him.

Our personal relationships often betray our feelings for the world as well. Rather than befriending and loving those who do not yet follow Christ, it seems that the longer we follow Christ, the fewer people we actually know who believe differently from the way we believe. We have created our own world within a world, a bubble in which we live with everything we need: Christian books, Christian shirts, Christian music, Christian jewelry, Christian movies, Christian sports leagues, Christian stores, Christian video games, and even Christian mints. I’m all for entrepreneurial ventures, but I’m afraid we have (inadvertently or perhaps sometimes purposely) isolated ourselves from the world around us. Perhaps there are some who have been reached by reading a T-shirt with "God’s Gym" on the front, finding a gospel tract on a urinal, or attending events featuring Christian bands, but most of the time we forget the importance of reaching out to others through these experiences. Instead, we choose to enjoy these events as an alternate reality outside of the rest of culture (p. 21).

I think there is a lot of truth to what the author, Eric Michael Bryant, is saying. What are your thoughts? I am planning on sharing it tonight at Prayer Meeting as I continue my series on meeting new people and sharing our faith.


Anonymous said...

Awesome quote... as someone not raised as a Christian and accepting the Lord later in life, I've always found it kind of ironic how the social dynamic of "clicks" outweighs the teachings of Jesus. In that same vein, I think one needs to be mature and confident enough in their faith to be able to handle the temptations of the "masses"... as in don't send your 13 year old to spring break.

Mithun said...

A good article in GQ about a writing diving into the Christian sub-culture:


Shawn Brace said...

Thanks for sharing, Mithun. I notice that the article was a few years old.

He has some good points.

I didn't care for his cynicism, of course! But our Christian pop-culture is sickening.