I read a pretty unsettling blog today regarding an evangelical church in Seattle, Washington, which is hosting "Beer & Bible" men's Bible studies and has just introduced men's poker nights...all in the name of Christ!
In their own words: "It's not about poker, its about relaxing, enjoying the company of some men, making grunting noises, and laughing at Junior High humor. If you're a man, and you have 10 bucks, here's your chance to prove your poker skills or lack there of. Depending on the number of men who show, we will have several $5 games in before the night is through. Bring your favorite soothing beverage (barley pop, soda, water, etc.) and bring something fattening to eat! For the same price as a movie, you can enjoy some laughs and, if you're lucky, go home with a little extra. Invite your buddies! "
I expect that if Jesus were invited to stop off at the corner bar after work, He just might go. After all, He came to save sinners and there are, no doubt, as many there as there are in church on Sunday morning. If He were invited to go to a poker party, He might go, too, although He'd have an unfair advantage (being omniscient and all), so I doubt if He'd play a hand. I think He just might go...but I can't imagine that He'd lay in a keg of beer and host a casino night just to get the chance to talk to sinners!
Why do Christians seem to think that they have to camouflage Jesus' offer to reconcile sinners to their Creator God with worldly activity? Jesus never had to shout over a back-up band. He didn't have fund-raisers to finance His ministry. He didn't seem to care whether the world liked Him, and He walked all over the toes of the prevalent culture. And, although He hung around with sinners for 33 years, He never began to look or smell or act like them. I guess that's why our sin was so offensive to Him when He hung on the cross to pay for it...it never tainted Him until He literally became sin for us. Why are believers so unwilling to be different for Him?
An old comparison seems apt here. If it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck....Why do we think it's anything other than a duck? If God has transformed you into a swan, why do you want to be a duck again?
p.s. Thanks to Rod Albert for posting the link to this information at http://rodneyalbert.blogspot.com/