Thursday, February 22, 2007

If It Looks Like a Duck...

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 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


mike rucker said...

"Why do Christians seem to think that they have to camouflage Jesus' offer to reconcile sinners to their Creator God with worldly activity?"

why do Christians seems to think that Jesus wouldn't enjoy life and share a beer with friends? american evangelicals have reduced Christianity to an in or out, believe it or not checkbox religion. of course, once you've checked the box, you get the list of what you can and can't do, what political parties you must support, what your position on the war in iraq should be, yada yada yada.

i think the dominant worldview that says it all blows up in the end doesn't have Jesus as its author. He preached the kingdom of God here and now. He wanted us to live and to have life more abundantly. i can't see Jesus knocking drinks back and getting a dui, but i can see him having fun with friends. i don't think much bible studying can be done with a buzz, though, so i don't see him teaching drunk drunks. but he would certainly associate with them today. because He did then.

i enjoy exchanging thoughts and questions with you, ms kat. please continue the discussion.

mike rucker

Elder's Wife said...

Hi Mike-
Nice to have you visit our corner of the Kingdom.
Re: your questions
You stated that "the dominant worldview that says it all blows up in the end doesn't have Jesus as its author." Read Matthew 24 & 25, my friend. That was certainly part of His kingdom teaching.
Jesus did say that He came so that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly. I don't know that our definition of an abundant life, however, always matches His. Maybe what we call "abundance" is just excess--too much money, too much stuff, too much sensuality, really.
I rather think that the abundance He may have had in mind was that we could be filled with Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit. The ugly duckling could become God's swan.
And if I have Christ's abundant presence, that will influence the way I view all of well as His command to take the Good News to others. He met people where they were, and He was criticized by the religious establishment for hanging around with sinners. But they could never accuse Him of sinning with the sinners. Because He didn't.
If we are going to take that Good News to the world around us, we will have to go into the world, just as He did. But if we are going to swim with the ducks, we'd better make sure that nobody mistakes us for ducks.