I recently went on a road trip. I had a blast, and got to hang out with so many interesting and wonderful people. I heard their stories, told them some of mine. And a lot of this took place in bars.
Now, I don't drink. I have never had the desire, and the four times I've had a taste, three of which were accidentals at other churches communions, I did not enjoy it one bit. However, and this may ruffle a few feathers; I do not actually have a problem with drinking. I don't think its the best for you, but there are plenty of things that I do that are not the best for me, so I really shouldn't be judging. I do take issue with getting drunk, but that's a different story, and not at all my point.
My point is this, I went there. I didn't sit on my high horse and wait for them to fix their lives and "come up to my level." (I'm rolling my eyes so much at even the idea of that.) But I think as the Church, we often do just that. We hide in our bubble, demanding the "heathens," or the not living "righteously" Christians, to step up before we will reach out to them and welcome them into our churches. But that's like asking a sick person to get well before they are allowed to see the doctor. But that is what we so often do.
We say its because we are "in this world, but not of it," that we have a higher calling. Excuses! We're made uncomfortable. We don't know how to deal with the person and not the "sin." It's not in our nature. Our nature is to focus on the dirt. WE LOVE DIRT. Don't lie. You love hearing the dirty secrets. I know this, because my more popular posts are the ones where I divulge some secret like, I wrote a letter trying to convince someone to kill themselves. We love dirt, and we love to use it against others. And we Christians seem to be settled in this place where we avoid dirt as much as possible, until we come in contact with it, and then we use it as a weapon to hurt everyone around us, even though we are covered in our own dirt as well.
A twitter friend wrote this piece, and I love that he points out that sex was not discussed. I went to a private school, and I remember a girl not knowing anything about sex, her senior year. I had a much different upbringing than those two. I had the good fortune of being raised by baby Christians, who either didn't know enough to realize that this was a taboo subject, or had seen enough while in the world to know that those that are sheltered often go of the deep end once finally let out of their bubble. And that later part is so true!
We have 1 of 3 choices for dealing with our bubble.
1: We can remain in it, forever.
Up on our high horse, demanding the sick to take care of themselves. That, however, will keep us stagnate, and them forever on the outside. There's a reason Mark 16:15 says to, "Go into all the world and share the Good News with EVERYONE!"
2: We can let the World burst our bubble.
But that is letting them have control. That will be as if we are living in the World, AND are of it! There is a reason that our parents are cautious and want us to be kept in our bubble, safe and sound, as long as possible.
3: We can burst our own bubble.
We can take control, and have the best of both worlds. We can be Christians who are "safe and sound," but can still go out into the World, and be lights. We can take the glamour out of sin by exposing it, talking about it, and at the same time, we can expose the "world" to true Christianity, not the version they see in the news, on tv, or the movies.
Is it awkward going to the bars and not drinking? At first. You get asked a lot why you're not drinking. You can say that its because you're the sober cab. Or you can explain. You'll be surprised by what that can mean to the people you go out with. I've yet to go to a bar, and have someone not tell me what it meant to them.
Disclaimer: If you struggle with drinking, don't go to bars. If you struggle with drugs, don't hangout with druggies. If you struggle with sex, don't put yourself in tricky situations. If you struggle with gossip, stay away from gossips. Don't use this as your excuse to sin.
I guess this just all comes back to the two Great Commandments. We're called to love others, no matter what. Jesus says the whole law hangs on love. Do you not think that He might care more about us reaching out to others, than if they're drinking? He was after all, the Jesus of Prostitutes.
Thanks for reading! I know this one was long, rambling, and didn't cover all parts of the subject, but I've missed writing! So thanks for sticking through. It means a lot. Also, I am getting so advanced! Did you see the links? Sorry, I'm just so excited!