Old BRog

i'm blogging, despite my creative incompetencies and cognitive lackings

Friday, May 06, 2005

I thought I learned my lesson
I should know better than to post when I don't have a lot of time. I attended the National Day of Prayer event at my local city hall on Thursday. There were at least two meetings that took place in Abilene honoring this day. The Abilene Interfaith Council met and had representatives from 10 different religions/denominations offer up prayer for the country. The other meeting was organized and composed exclusively of Christians.

My wife and I work at a Christian University. However, just before we were to leave for the prayer meeting at city hall, my wife's boss gave her a warning. She said that some co-workers were extremely upset about the interfaith gathering and one was quoted as saying that "their prayers would only be offered up to the air." Normally, I would ask what you think of this and how you may have handled the situation, but not this time.

It perplexes me to think of why Christians would show up at the interfaith gathering with tracts containing the gospel and hand them out at such an event, denying to participate in the event as a whole. I received two tracts, one from a student at the University that I had led in New Student Orientation just a few years earlier. I graciously received the tract(s), hoping that I would not be erroneously identified or associated with this breed of Christian. My wife wouldn't even take the tracts. I have nothing to fear by sharing in a prayer service with people of other religions. Apparently, I am in the minority. Our country was founded with this privilege in mind. Too many Christians are comfortable being in the majority and are blind to the fact that not allowing or encouraging these types of gatherings is a threat to our own religious freedom. To the Christians who were at the interfaith meeting handing out tracts, I say this:
Think about others before you try and force your own beliefs on them. Would you want to receive a Muslim or Buddhist tract at a prayer event? Live your life of faith in Christ, and live it loud--but replace your tracts with some heart-felt and genuine concern for your brother (maybe even sit down and listen to their struggles) and you can rest assured that the seed has been planted. Then, have faith that God will continue to grow that seed and He will include you where he needs you.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Death and Life of a church

Am I just selfish? I grew up and attended the same church my entire life, until last year. My wife had attended this same church for about 7 years before we left. As a church, we failed to recognize the changing demographic of the neighborhood through the years and this eventually caused us to even resent the changes taking place around us. There were times when we would pull together as a congregation and reach out, but our efforts were soon eclipsed by the enormity of the task or by the lack of help from others in the congregation. I’ve been on both sides-the side that works their fingers to the bone and the side that really hasn’t a clue what’s going on, or acts like they don’t lest they be recruited to help. Looks like I just told on us-maybe we relied on our own ability a little too much. Factor in a little pride, poor church structure, a few dozen content believers and you’ve got a church that just couldn’t pull it all together. And we couldn’t. After many years of struggling, Danyel and I decided it was time to move on, that was 9 months ago.

This last week marked the first meeting of the remaining members after an apparent split. One of those members contacted us and asked if we would like to come back and begin serving in the neighborhood. Sounds good right? Not exactly. Danyel and I believe we have found our place at a new church, but that’s not the only reason we can’t return. It is the leadership. We cannot return because we feel that our beliefs, our style, and our approach in no way coincide with those ideals presented by the remaining members. However, our desire to reach the neighborhood certainly still exists. I still love each of them very much, but feel that I cannot serve with them. So, should I just suck it up and serve the people of the neighborhood and disregard my own struggles with the church for the sake that one more may become saved? OR Do I pick up the pieces, pray for the congregation and move on? Feel free to ask me any more questions that might help paint a better picture of the situation.

Monday, May 02, 2005

My Utmost for His Highest Daily Devotional

Yesterday's dose of My Utmost For His Highest. I won't say anything, just read it.