- Denominational loyalty
and so many other categories. We could talk about evangelism, Facebook, homework, dating, church, shopping, elections, and never run out of material for how much things have changed in that last 30 years.
Tim Vickery, a soccer columnist in S. America, was sick one week and spent his time on the couch watching reruns of Seinfeld. He had an epiphany: Seinfeld had to have been made before the invention of the cell-phone! 90% of the show’s plots would have been foiled by one simple cell phone call.
I went back and watched some Seinfeld episodes after Tim pointed this out. It is actually shocking to see. I am also amazed at how important a role cell phones play in contemporary films and TV shows. Most of plot lines could not happen without that new technology.
I’m blogging my way through Neighbors and Wisemen for Lent. In this chapter Tony’s Dad distances himself from a co-worker who wants to get to know him better and to talk about things of faith. He does this because the co-worker is a Mormon.
I remember the days when was considered a righteous and sincere response. Tony’s dad was a devout man who read the BIble everyday. His reaction to the co-workers request is something that I have seem a bunch from that generation.
Things have changed, and continue to change, quite a bit in just one generation.
Another story involved Kym the Insider voicing concern that non-christians would be invited to participate with a group of believers in doing good. Acts of compassion and kindness can only be done by those who claim to do them in Jesus’ name? or else they become tainted?
It would be hard to hold that line these days … but people do.
Double Judgment: I had a kid in my youth group a few years ago who’s family attended a neighboring local Bible church. The kid’s father was very concerned about this very issue. The kid reported to me that if somebody who was not a Christian did something kind – something that would have been chalked up to righteousness for a believer – that they were heaping judgment on themselves in the eyes of God.
You see, if a non-christian gives to the needy or feeds the hungry, they are doing it for the wrong reason (to feel better about themselves) or for the wrong motive (to relieve their guilty conscience) and in so doing they are actually mocking God and being selfish.
I talked to the kid and the dad at length about this. I questioned: your telling me that if somebody who is without saving faith in Jesus does what Jesus said to do – that they are actually making it worse for themselves on judgment day?
Yes, that is what they were saying. You see, if you belong to the right ‘bank’ then all these good deeds are credited to your account. BUT if you are outside of God’s system then you are actually racking up a larger debt that you owe because you are doing these good deeds in your own power and for your own satisfaction/glory.
If you are a sinner, you should act like a sinner – not a good person – so that you come to the end of yourself sooner and repent of your sinful selfish ways.
A non-christian who does good deeds is only masking their need for repentance. They think that they are thus a good person because they do good deeds.
Tony ends the chapter with a poem-ism thing. That poem sounds socialist and new age-y.
Oh wait … I just figured out that is from the Bible… only a different translation/rendering. All I have to say about that is: stop messing with my Bible.
I welcome your thoughts and stories about all of this!