How Do We Get Anything Done?

Recently a religious woman in our town threw an accusation my way. “You know, she admits to listening to secular music.” Wow! I thought. That’s the worse thing I do? Well then, I must be in pretty good shape!

Where do we as Christians get the idea that everything is evil and nothing is good?

“No pants on women, it makes them look like men.” 

“Don’t say Oh My God! It’s taking the Lord’s Name in Vain.”

“No sleeveless blouses on women, armpits are evil.” 

okay I made up the armpits are evil but really what is the reason a woman can’t show her shoulders in public?

“No crosses whatsoever, they are demonic!”  

Okay but in movies they ward off vampires….just saying…..

“HIDE! On Halloween.”

Uh, because this is the only day the LORD didn’t make right? (Insert sarcastic snicker here)

“Dance at the altar before the Lord or you are not really worshiping.” 

“Don’t dance at the altar before the Lord. This is not a disco!”

“Contemporary music is just a fad, hymns will come back.”

“You can’t watch a rated R movie, but look the other way, and pass the cash over to your kids so they can go see it.”  

“No spaghetti straps on dresses.” 

This is especially true if you even remotely attractive.

“NO Jewelry!”

This is critical if you are someone in danger of making a golden calf.

Can you think of more?

Then let’s go to the other spectrum:

“We live together because if we got married, I’d lose my benefits. God sees my heart.”

“I taught Sunday School before. Let someone else have a turn.”

 This is usually followed by a rant about children today.

“I don’t report my tips to the IRS. They don’t need my money.”

“I work part-time because otherwise my ex would get her back child support.” 

Bible study? Girl, I’ve read the bible several times, what can you teach me?” 

It’s not gossip if it’s true. 

I’m just wondering at what point we stop fighting each other, live out what the word says, quit making excuses and speaking in half truths, which are lies we tell ourselves to make us feel good, and get on with the business at hand? What is the business at hand? To reach out to people who are hurting and show them a Jesus who loves them, not because they look right, act right or are right, but because he just does.

Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

How do we get anything done when we won’t stop living in religious fear and condemnation of one another. As I told the TLC women recently, “What makes you right?”

I Thought You Were A Church

Through our church we run a thrift store. Our thrift store handles our benevolence as well. It’s curious to me when people try to point fingers at us for their perceived offenses at what we do. Recently a customer came in to purchase $12.00 worth of items. She tried to pay with her debit card but it was declined. She rummaged through her purse to come up some of the money but she was still short. Our cashier explained that she didn’t have the authority to override the purchase for a lesser amount. The customer became livid.

“I can’t believe you won’t let me have the rest of my purchase. You are supposed to be the church. I am going to tell all of my friends not to come here.”

Our cashier was upset because she was following policy and asked me later how it should have been handled. Our cashier said that because the items weren’t essentials, she felt confident in maintaining the policy. I backed up our cashier’s judgment.

We often get these rants. What is amazing is that people often throw the “you’re supposed to be the church” comment to us. In other words, what they are saying is that since we are the church they should be allowed to take advantage of us. We should bow to their whims. We should give them what they want.

I understand that we live in an entitled society but I wonder if they yell in the same fashion at their local Walmart or Target? When they are short on cash they do begin to yell and make a scene that their things should be free? I have had to put things back before, or leave a store without something I wanted. Trust me, it isn’t the end of the world.

I often find the people who come in using their vouchers are so much more respectful, often humbled by their life experience, they try to stay under their voucher amount. They come to the register and ask the cashier to ring up their purchases because they don’t want to go over their voucher amount.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if the economy is down because we are a society who must have what they want when they want it regardless of what the price someone else has to pay for them to have it?

It is because we are the church that we must be fair and even-handed. Not allowing others to take advantage of the generosity of many.