shea-moisture-combo

Eavesdropping at Chick-Fil-A

The other day, I took the babies to Chick-Fil-A, because I didn’t have enough time to go home between appointments, but couldn’t handle another minute of sitting in the car with whining children. Chick-Fil-A’s play area door is super hard to open for people younger than 6, so I could sit in a booth and read Facebook in relative peace, while they got their energy out.

Maybe it’s because we have so many seminaries and churches in Louisville, but there’s almost always Christians meeting up at our Chick-Fil-A. This time was no exception. In the booth next to mine, a couple of young guys were discussing ministry and theology.

I was a bit intrigued. (Like when you’re in a foreign country and see other Americans. You don’t necessarily introduce yourself, but you listen in to what they’re saying, just because the conversation is in English and they’re kind of your people.)

So one of the guys was sharing how his mom had asked him, “Do you know anything about Charismatic theology?” He went on, “And I told her, ‘It’s not good! His friend listening to the story reiterated, “Yeah, not good.

The thing is, my church upbringing was Charismatic. So my eavesdropping brain was thinking, “Wait? What is ‘Charismatic theology’?” Last I checked, we come in a lot of different flavors, with a plethora of theological perspectives. But apparently these guys could write every one of us off with one broad brush stroke.

It kind of made me sad, there in Chick-Fil-A. Because the other bits and pieces of their conversation sounded like stuff I would agree with, from their theology to their politics.

Really, we had more in common than we had separating us.

But I think we all do this way too often. Most of us have a group of other Christians we dislike. There is some segment of brothers and sisters that we write off, because we dislike their views.

We roll our eyes. We say, “Can you believe they think ____________ ?”

Now, I’m not saying we can’t discuss non-biblical theology. It is important to bring correction to errors within the Church. I even recognize that we might disagree so strongly, that having a friendship with those on the other side of the discussion would be a strain.

But maybe we should still give each other some grace. We could try to celebrate the places where we do agree and still hear where they’re coming from when agreement isn’t possible. We should let love cover the weaknesses we perceive and choose to learn from their strengths. Really, we must speak about our differences from a place of love, since that was Jesus’ prayer for us (John 13:35).

Because probably, we have more in common than we have separating us.


Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC
Please follow and like us:
shea-moisture-combo

Company Policy

An arm-chair-quarterback was sharing her opinions about a prominent Christian leader the other day. I’d never heard of the leader (or the quarterback) before, so she could have been totally right. But she made a statement that bothered me.

“I think [Christian] leaders should be held at a higher standard, even more than the lay members.”

I guess. Yeah. But not really.

Because when we say that leaders are called to a “higher” standard, it implies that the rest of us are called to a lesser standard. And that just doesn’t work for me.

I mean, think of it like this:

I worked at Wal-Mart for 3 hellish months (OK, it was 3 mildly aggravating months). And there was not one standard for the managers because they were “leadership” and another for the regular employees.

The company never said, “If you’re management, you must come to work on time, but if you’re a cashier, you can come in 20 minutes late.” No. Or, “Management is not allowed to steal from the cash registers, but if you’re only part time, we look the other way.” No.

They had company policies. It didn’t matter your role or how many smiley stickers you handed out, you still had to wear a shirt to work. You had to show up for your shift. You couldn’t beat your coworkers up. You couldn’t sell alcohol to minors. Stuff like that.

And the Kingdom of heaven is no different. We all work for the same company and we all have to follow company policy. Yeah, some of us have roles that require more responsibility, or more time, or more skills than others of us.

But. None of us are allowed to sin. Leaders or non-leaders. We’re called to be perfect, like God. Dead to the flesh. Free from sin. And if we do sin, we all receive the same grace. And are all made the same righteousness of Christ.

So, back to this whole, “Leaders are called to a higher standard” bit. Why do we say that? I mean, most of us have probably spouted something akin to it at some point. I know I have. So, why?

Because it makes us feel better. Just like any form of judgementalism, it lets us think we’re really doing OK. If so-and-so is a leader and she just checked into rehab, then my little gossip problem isn’t too much to be worried about.

And guys, Jesus is so beautiful. The grace and forgiveness He’s extended to us is nothing we could even remotely deserve. Let’s just quit trying to play this little “God grades on a curve” game and live our lives in response to the love He’s lavished on us.

Please follow and like us: