Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blue Jeans

In adult Sunday School today, Shannon the man taught on the last section of John 7 and the first section of John 8.  Here Nicodemus tries to support Jesus to the Pharisees, and they ignorantly claim that he's from Galilee and no prophet is from Galilee.  No fact checking, just proudly claiming they know everything.  It's just like in the Trayvon tragedy.  It's sad that a  young boy got killed, but we can't just assume it was over racism when it could have been self-defense and the guy that killed him was not white anyway.  Not even white-Hispanic.

Anyway, Shannon's example was from legalistic people who see a kid coming into church in blue jeans and a t-Shirt and automatically assume that he is disrespectful and lazy.  How do you know that isn't his only outfit?  How do you know if this is not the best he has to wear?  What if he works really hard and still hasn't enough money to afford nicer clothes?  And if it's so important, why don't you buy him the clothes or at least give him a gift card?

Then the other extreme happens in Sunday School.  Someone says, "How come people can't wait to get to a ball game and can't wait to leave church?  The people at the ball game are relaxed."

Then I played the devil's advocate and took the side of the woman who judges blue jeans just to make a point that we are not to be apathetic when we come to worship the only God who did not have to save us.  Blue jeans and t-shirts aside, I am not going to run a church like I run a ball game (I don't even know how to do the latter), just to impress people who will probably get bored and move on to a cooler church anyway.  While we should reach the lost and try to accommodate their weaknesses, Sunday morning worship is not about them.  It is about feeding the sheep and interacting with the Lord before we start another week.

Then I taught a lesson on the Sower and the Seed in children's church.  Church attendance has nothing to do with how many people stay through the years.  It has everything to do with truly teaching the Word of God without polish and letting God bring the people who will be reached.  It all depends on their soil and if God decides to plow through the path, dig up the rocks, or weed out the weeds.  Only God can sent farmers to properly cultivate the land and get a beautiful garden.  In fact, he is the chief farmer and we are only hired hands privileged to touch God's acres.  And I feel like many Evangelical churches today have only provided shallow, rocky soil for seeds to grow in.  They have cool music, good friends, potlucks, rock concerts, sports teams and cool lights, but the Word of God somehow is not emphasized enough and the people don't get to know the true Jesus who is loving but who also has teeth.  Without knowledge and interaction with the true God who is beyond relevant, they have no root and there's no reason for them to stay in a situation without proper nourishment.  And it only causes church leaders to play in thorny soil, worrying about every detail when God is the one responsible.  We are only there to spread the Word.  Lord, plow through our soil, our paths, and weeds, and help us to grow real crops!

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