"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

As long as it doesn't lead to dancing

Just before Valentines day, Drew Marshall did a Valentines themed show. One of his guests has a website where they sell Christian "toys" to enhance your relationship with your spouse - I'll let you fill in the blanks as to what that means. They tried to Christianize it by emphasizing that these were for couples to use.

Now, I don't care if people want to use these types of things, provided they aren't trying to compensate for other issues in their marriage. Other than that, if they both think it sounds like fun, then whatever - as long as it doesn't lead to dancing (as the old joke goes). If there are issues, then they are better off addressing those first, before they try to put a bandaid on their problems. One of Drew's other guests that day (a Canadian) has an excellent website to address those issues.

This may be the most bizarre of the Christian businesses out there, but it is certainly not alone. There are Christian Realtors, Christian Insurance, Christian Used Car sales (is that even possible?), and a host of others. I must admit that I have a problem with these businesses, as well as people who put fish on their cars, or bumper stickers that say things like; "God is my co-pilot".

The problem is; if you are going to advertise you are a Christian business, you are implying that you have higher standards; and if you're going to tell people that you have higher standards, you better live and operate your business exactly as advertised - and too few do. In my opinion you are far better off actually operating with the higher standards - not telling people that you are so wonderful - and just letting them find out, as Jesus implied in the Sermon on the Mount when he said; "let your yes be yes and your no be no".

The reason is not as obvious as you might think. Some people will think you're just trying to protect yourself if you screw up - trying to save face - but you aren't protecting yourself, you're protecting God.

In 2nd Samuel 12 David has sinned by sleeping with Bathsheba (and a host of other misdeeds), and God punishes David by taking his son - why?

"...because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die." (NASV)

God cares what people think about him. God cares about how you and I portray him to the world. God cares because you and I are God's light into the world - we are reflecting him. We're supposed to be showing the rest of the world what it means to live in his Kingdom. What it means to call Jesus "Lord". The only way that some people will see God is through you and I, and if they don't see something they want to be a part of, they will reject the Kingdom, and they will reject God, and the Kingdom will not have been advanced the way it should have. As CS Lewis said: we are to be little Christs.

So, if we're selling products, or putting a fish on our car, we had better think twice about what kind of standard we're willing to hold ourself to.

And, since we're talking about dancing, didn't David, "a man after God's own heart" dance naked in the street. How does that fit in with the church's prohibition against dancing? It's a good thing smarter people than me are making the decisions for me.

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