Monday, April 21, 2008

Toxic People

So I've been meaning to post about this for a week or so, but better late than never...

While Justin was at drill a couple weeks ago, I got to go back and visit some old friends at Rock Creek and hear a great sermon by Greg Kirksey

The first thing that got me was a surveillance video from a local restaurant... basically, this family is in a rush and throughout the meal, the wife is complaining about the service, pestering the waitress about how long things are taking, etc. The family then bows their heads to pray after receiving their food and continue to be incredibly rude to this poor waitress. By the end of the meal, she is almost in tears due to their rude comments and pushy attitudes.

Greg preached on the toxic church...

He talked about staying away from extreme legalism (Pharisees). So many churches seem to make people feel like dirt because of their sin... I've even heard of churches making unwed pregnant teenagers stand in front of the church body and confess their sin. Not that we shouldn't hate the sin, but there are so many better ways to go about things than developing a critical spirit toward others.
Matthew 23:4, 6-7, 13-15

He talked about staying away from extreme liberalism (not political liberalism), but the whole believe whatever you want, cafeteria plan Christianity. Liberal teaching provides no roots! As in the days of Moses, "everyone did what was right in his own eyes" seems to be the common theme among our lives today. We often are enamoured by good communicators and forget to investigate the whole truth.
2 Timothy 2:15-18

My favorite thing he said that was so simple was "The greater the relationship- the fewer rules you need." For example, someone who loves their spouse and has a great relationship doesn't need a rule that tells them not to commit adultery. So it should be with us, the closer we get to God, and the more like Jesus we become, the less rules we should need to live.


dean said...

MAN! I love that right there at the end... "the greater the relationship, the fewer the rules you need." It's because we are (or we SHOULD be) motivated by love rather than the fear of what might happen if we "break the rules."

A Christian blogger from Malaysia who I read regularly just put up a great post that goes right along with what you're saying here. Check it out:

BTW, I just got through reading your reply to my nosy questions about moving :-) I understand where you're coming from with some of your frustrations. While I was raised in the northeast, we still had race issues, largely due to the 1967 Newark riots, which took place when I was 10 years old, less than 15 minutes from where I lived in Jersey City. There was a LOT of fear in the air at that time, even though the violence never reached us. But I have to say, moving to Mississippi when a senior in high school, I've never experienced the blatant racism (then or now) that I've seen in the south. Even in a city as culturally diverse as New Orleans, I was very shocked to see how poor race relations were (are)... and you're right, even in the church. Marin Luther King once said that 11:00 on Sunday is the most segregated hour in Christian America. While I do believe strides are being made, that statement holds true even today. But I'd also add, racism in the Church dates all the way back to the 1st century... Paul even had to call Peter on it once!

I'll be praying for you guys as you make decisions in the coming days. I used to be a paint contractor (in New Orleans and in north Mississippi, but not here), and from what I've seen in the 5 1/2 years I've lived here, I'd never have been able to make a living contracting around here!

Thanks for indulging this small novel I've written :-)

dean said...

oops! i copied and pasted that link but it didn't all fit... let's try it again...

WendyJanelle said...

How true. I've often heard that Christians are the rudest and the worst tippers. I would try to disprove that, but I never eat out. ;-)

At any rate, I know what you're saying. It's pointless to so-divide our lives that we don't even resemble Christians unless we are "playing the part."

I love that last line, too.
Our previous church has recently been hit with multiple "high-profile" affairs. Shocking, and you have to wonder what is going wrong. Too many Christian women just playing the part? Too many obligations and not enough real time in relationship with Christ? Satan attacks our weak points.