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17 June 2010

Catching Someone's "Stupid"

The following is a slightly edited repost from October 4, 2008:

In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode Squirrel Jokes (see the whole espisode compressed into 5:42 right here on YouTube), our hero SpongeBob has a stand-up comedy routine in which he makes fun of his friend Sandy the Squirrel ("Squirrels are so stupid that..."). After this sentiment has worked its way into the undersea community, we see a mom telling her little fish son in the grocery store regarding Sandy, "Don't get to close to it -- you'll catch its stupid!"

There's our (arguably) culturally-relevant intro. Now the meat of the post...

God, speaking to Israel through his prophet Isaiah, had these words to say to those who were not seeking Him:

Yet they say to each other,
    "Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
I am holier than you!"
    These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.
- Isaiah 65:5 (NLT)

Hey, hey! I think that I may have seen this from time to time in the modern-day church! There's little denying that we feel like we're "set apart" (or "consecrated," if we're feeling very spiritual) but I wonder if we're looking at this the way our Father intends. Are we "strangers and aliens," or are we just jerks?

In your opinion, how far should one go to get "in the world but not of the world"? Waiting for or inviting them to come to a church service (where the preacher can preach to them and they'll get saved)? Handing out tracts?

How far is too far? Going to a nightclub? Eating with unbelievers?

Most responses to questions like these are hypothetical. I'm interested in what you're personally willing to do, or what you do do (heh heh... I said "do do"). And above all, I'd like to know what Scriptures you use to direct you in this.


Preston N said...

This sort of reminds me of a story I once heard whereby when a young Christian was asked why they were going to nightclubs, the young person responded by saying "Oh, I can take Jesus with me wherever I go". An older and more seasoned Christian said "Son, one doesn't take Jesus anywhere, but you follow Jesus".

I think many have a concept today much like the young man in the story had. That because of "Grace" I can just take Jesus with me wherever I go or whatever I do. Yet Jesus said "Take up your cross and follow me". If we are truly living a Christ filled and led lifestyle, it is not us who determine what we do, but it is Christ guiding and leading us to do what is right and good. Depending on a persons past, weaknesses, or spiritual maturity - will determine where God will take you.

John King said...

The Bible says you may consume wine. But not to excess. So, wheather your drinking or sitting with someone who is. Or in a establishment in which has alcohol. Does that mean we as Christians, can't go out to hear a band, dinner etc. Can't we have or not have a drink an be resposible. If were walking in his lite. I say have a glass of wine. Are we to go home an hide. No, we can be the church in a bar. or in any place at all. Hiding from sinners, means than we are sinning. The bible says we are to pass the word. Jesus, was looked down upon for associateing with sinners. Look how many ended up following him or were saved an passed the word. How about the homeless. Do we abandon them due to they are dirty. They might be saved, Lost, Sober who knows if we dont get involved. I say we help them all. An pass the word. God if we can Save 10 would you allow them to live. How about 20 know the story. Only a few were saved. But Isaiah didn't give up, an he even question God. For me. I live honestly. Being fake, dishonest is a waste of my an your time readers. I fall. But I get up an cont to walk in his light. I'd rather watch the news, than hide from the truth. I'd rather go out an enjoy what God gave us. instead of living under false pretenses to impress someone. Impress God. Go out. What can be better than looking at a beautiful sunset while with friends or family. an if someone enjoys a glass of wine or a beer. whats more important. Living the truth. Or hiding from it..We an I need to Stop Judging. We need to reach out. If we are fighting amoungst ourselves. How can we help those who are in need.
In Conclusion, get out into the world. Your community for starters. Your work will be seen by others. Some will see this an realize they too should be out there. We live in a dispospal world. Everything is made to break, or to be made better next year in order to keep buying. how long can you protect an keep a dispospal item working like new. We need to not treat human beings as though there disposal.

Preston N said...

John - I hope you did not misconstrue my comments as being legalistic. My point is this -so often I will hear people say "Well Jesus hung out with sinners and prostitutes, so that means we should too". I think what many fail to see from the example Jesus gave, wasn't that Jesus was going to "hang out" with sinners - but to hang out with them and more importantly bring them light, to bring them the truth, to bring them salvation. I am sure Jesus most certainly hung out with sinners and prostitutes - but it wasn't necessarily to have a few cold ones and talk about the best gladiator at the Roman Colosseum. Instead, Jesus came to set men free from the bondage of sin. I agree we most certainly need to earn the right to speak into other people's lives - as Jesus did. Ultimately Jesus came to tell sinners the good news, yet many Christians use the "Jesus hung out with sinners" card and just leave it at that - never really understanding Christ purpose in doing so.

In addition, Paul tells us not to have a "hint" of immorality - meaning not even an innuendo or rumor of sin. On a very rare occasion I may have a beer - but typically I don't do it in front of others. Does this mean I am "fake"? Not necessarily. Jesus says that we need to be wise and considerate of others who are around us and are watching us - especially non-beleivers, so as not to give them any excuses or reasons to accuse of wrong doing. Therefore, I take heed from the Holy Spirit as to when and where I may have a beer.

Another issues is this. My point was to say that we do not walk by our own authority or direction, but we should do all things according to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Just because WE want an adult beverage doesn't mean we as Christians can by "Grace" do what ever we please. Grace isn't doing whatever we please, but doing what we ought to do out of supreme love for God. That's true liberty. If we are going to do something that is not necessarily a sin - but yet could cause someone else stumble - like a person seeing you drinking at a bar - then that is saying your highest good is what is important and not the other people around you. Again, my point is we should constantly be seeking the guidance of God's Spirit in everything we do - even when it comes to "eating and drinking".

John King said...

Hi Preston,
Sometimes when I write, I don't get it out correctly in my meanning. To be honest, I was only referring to the question Dean asked. I agreed with your 1st post an most all of the 2nd. What I was trying to say. I dont go an just hangout, so to speak. I have helped an been with other christians who haved helped a person that was lost by literally telling them the word. An by offering future help.
My only point is, If we walk in his light at all times. Than by our example by not over drinking in public or at home. We are showing others, an God. That we are behaving respnsible. Thats what I meant when Jesus was looked down upon by others for giving the sinners the word. I agree many use it as a excuse. I truly wasn't going in that direction. Due to I was blessed with a gift of music. I love to listen to most all types of music. In order to hear it live. Alchol will most likely be there. Most christians, still will see this as wrong. an judge without full knowledge just due to they see a drink on my table. So I understand when you say you might on a occassion have a beer at home.
Not to Sound rude. Would you if the doorbell rang, hide or throw away the beer? The reason I ask that. An i'm not saying you do this. Many christians hide in there homes, dont go out into the world as Dean discussed. By hiding in there homes, they than dont have to answer to anyone except Jesus. So they're not only missing out on passing the word. But life. It can be sports, to just about anything anywhere. In which alchol will be there. So do we no go to a great steak house, due to they serve alchol. I have read an learned alot from you Preston in Deans older blogs. Your words have helped me at times. So please don't misunderstand my reply. I am in no way disagreeing with you. I was only attempting to make a point. If im still incorrect. I value yours an others opinons. I love critisism. It helps me grow. an as you read my posts. You'll find my heart is true, but im a imature christian thirsty to learn the word understand it an grow. An excuse the spelling errors an grammer. Im from public

Preston N said...

John - thanks for the reply and your comments. As to whether I would hide my beer if someone rang the doorbell - well it depends. This sorta of gets back to my point - what would the Holy Spirit command or direct me to do in this situation? Most likely I would probably do nothing.

I guess I would just say this, in regards to legalism. Legalism is an individual who is grinding and grinding their way to holiness. Yet holiness is not solely about obedience. Obedience is most definitely a byproduct of holiness. But those who view holiness as merely obedience are doing so out of a system of "hope & fear". Hoping they will be rewarded (ie. heaven) and fearful of being punished (ie. Hell). It is religion without relationship - it kills any possibility of intimacy and legitimacy of truly knowing God.

John King said...

Hi Preston,
Yes thats what I was trying to say also. You worded it perfectly.
Not to drag this out. Your last paragragh hits it right on the button.
This is my question. The word Perceptions. Christians do this alot. Like we discussed, someone sees a drink on my table. There going to have Perceptions. 99% of the time a perception is incorrect.
Did you see john, he was drinking in a resturant. Guess he has a drinking problem. Or he isn't walking the light. The drink maybe just a Coke. But by being where drinks are served. A Perception takes place. Christians get persaquited by the unbelivers daily. An by other christians. So my point is. Like you said about a beer. I will do what God wants in all situations. An if others have a Perception. Thats there worry. My asking you about the beer. Most would hide it. Than the smell of beer on there breathe would be noticed by the door knocker. They would have a Perception. If im still not making sense or incorrect fill me in brother.
i'm trying to say we do have Freedom. But sometimes it feels like we cant do something like have a Coke at a bar. Due to Perceptions. Most rather talk about you, than talk to you about there Perception.
Thanks Preston

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