Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Disappointed? Jesus won't let you down!

Fellow Christians: SERIOUSLY?!

I'm a Christian; a follower of the risen Saviour. I understand the great commission. I'm also a server. A waiter of tables... a bringer of biscuits. Having worked in three restaurants, I have seen this scenario play out more times than I can count. Christians come into a restaurant and upon leaving, they leave tracts at their table to spread the gospel of Jesus. That's fine, I get it. That said... STOP IT!! At least those who leave this particular tract...

If you've never worked in this field, imagine for a moment being a waiter/waitress. Maybe it was a slow night, maybe it was extremely busy. Who knows? One thing's for sure; if it's Sunday, you've more than likely had pissed off customers (who probably just came from church, but that's another conversation). You just finished working your last table of the night. Your guests have departed, and you make your way to the table where they were sitting. You arrive to see a folded 5-spot laying amongst the empty drink glasses and used silverware. You pick up your tip and unfold it to add it to the rest of your cash. It's at this point that you realize: they got you again! It isn't a $5 (or a $10, $20, or $50 depending on the variation they decided to leave). In fact, there's no money on the table at all. Instead, you have a piece of paper that looks like US legal tender, but reads: "Disappointed? Jesus won't let you down." and begins to explain to you the love of Jesus Christ.

Time for my disclaimer: For the record, I believe everything that this tract says. I believe that Jesus won't let me down. I believe that God loved me, and sent his son to die for my sins. I believe that God provides things that money can't buy. My problem with this particular pamphlet, is that it relies on deception and trickery; traits that MY God does not exhibit. MY Jesus actually says: "...the laborer is worthy of his wages..." (Luke 10:7) He does NOT say: "thou shalt take this cleverly disguised piece of paper, and play humorous tricks on as many people as possible".

I'm a firm believer that the pure love of Christ can be more effective than a tract, a lesson, or a sermon, and certainly more than any guilt trip. I believe that if you show people Jesus before you preach Jesus, your lesson will be infinitely more effective. This right here? This doesn't show Jesus in any kind of positive light.

This propaganda does more harm to the Kingdom than it does good. It has 100% the opposite effect of what the person leaving it intends. I believe that the people who leave these, do so with a pure heart. They want to spread the Gospel and get the word about Jesus, but in actuality, this pushes more people away than it draws in. Unsaved people receive these papers and say, "Why would I want to be associated with a God like that?" Honestly, it's a good question. I wouldn't want to spend time on Earth with people who treated me that way, why should they want to spend eternity with a God who does?

If you're called a Christian, it's because you're SUPPOSED to be an example of Christ and His love. People are supposed to look at you (me... us...) and see Him. Do you want to show a Jesus that's a liar? A Jesus that deceives us and plays tricks on those who don't follow Him? A Jesus that gets your hopes up, then fails to deliver? That sounds like someone else I've heard of, but not my Jesus...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Really kinda in the mood to write something right now....


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Islam: What the West needs to know

I watched a documentary a few nights ago, entitled: "Islam: What the West needs to know". (A link to the video is included in the title.)

This video is not intended to spread hate or ignorance. In fact, it is just the opposite. The video is brought by professors, writers, and ex-muslims, (one of whom is an ex-jihadist @ time code 33:20) the subject matter experts on the topic.

*EDIT*: It's important to point out that this is not a video that is "pro-Judeo-Christian". It mentions Christianity and Judaism only when those religions play vital parts in the story that the video tells. There is no hidden agenda. The documentary simply tries to shed more light on the religion of Islam. It strives to clear up confusion, to educate, and to inform. It uses the Qur'an, interviews and testimony of those who have practiced the religion, and various video clips taken from different Muslim TV stations.

If you have an hour and a half, I invite you to watch the video, and decide for yourself.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

School daze

So I've officially been a college student for 2 weeks. I had my second computer class of the semester today. The class is called "Basic Computer Concepts and Applications" BASIC is right. Today we defined the terms "Start button" and "double click". Things got crazy when the professor demonstrated how to resize a window. Jesus help me, it's gonna be a long 16 weeks...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dead tech

I was watching the movie Boondock Saints with a friend the other day. I've seen the movie MANY times. It's pretty inappropriate for some audiences, but I love it.

I've noticed it before, but when I watched it this time... I couldn't ignore the payphones, pagers, and Discman's. It's surprising how far we've come in the last 11 years. What will it be like in another 11 years? I can't imagine watching a movie with my kids, and having them say: "Dad, what was up with that whole iPad thing?"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Life giving rain

As I was letting my dog out for his morning #1 yesterday, or was it day before (I don't know... it was 6:30 AM...) I was standing on my porch, watching the rain. From somewhere deep inside of me, I had a profound though (which is even more impressive given the time. I usually don't know my own name at 6:30 AM).

As a Christian, I've heard The Holy Spirit compared to "rain" more times than I could possibly count. In songs, in sermons, in The Bible itself. The comparison is absolutely everywhere. For some reason, on this morning (whatever morning it was), it made sense. Standing in the cool, sweet smelling air, listening to the drops splatter around me... I got it.

There are different kinds of rain events, just like there are different kinds of Holy Spirit encounters. Sometimes He comes as a quick sprinkling, just long enough to drop the temperature of your situation, and cool down your circumstance. Sometimes, as a summer thunder storm, loud and violent and dangerous, but beautiful and exciting. Other times, like the morning in question, He comes as a slow, steady, soaking shower. This type of rain doesn't just evaporate away when the sun comes up. It penetrates the earth, hard and dry as it may be. It gets deep down, and changes things from the root. It brings life. Dead and withered things become fresh, and new, and green once again. The dust gets washed away, and the soil is renewed, preparing the way for the things that will grow next.

I've always heard people say "he doesn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain". Looking at rain this way, why would you want too??