Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I just had to say this

Just before New Year's Eve someone asked us what we were going to do to celebrate. We gave the standard answer and said we'd be at home like we always are (safer & smarter that way) and that we'd be having our Lord of the Rings (extended version) marathon.

That question though about what we were doing, prompted a conversation later with Kev and I about the ways we used to celebrate it, compared to how we are now (an old fuddy-duddy couple who sit at home like hermits). Propriety compels me to leave out most details of the ways we both used to celebrate, so suffice it to say when we were unregenerate sinners outside of grace we acted the role quite convincingly. Ephesians 2:2-3 defines how we all act before we come to Christ.

In that conversation the subject of booze+celebration came up, of course, and I made the comment that a lot of Christians can no longer go the places they used to go, or do the things they used to do because they associate those places and things (even if they're benign to begin with) with the old man, and the old, sinful ways. Kev agreed and that's part of the reason we don't "go out" on New Year's Eve. He still associates that event with yet another excuse in the long line of heathen excuses we all use, to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. He's left that life behind thanks to the grace of God, and has no desire to look back, or hang on to any part of it. As for myself, there were plenty of New Years Eve celebrations I attended where booze wasn't a core factor, so I don't automatically associate it the way Kev does with NYE celebrations - but I can certainly understand why he does. In my case, I tend to associate dangerous driving conditions with NYE. I remember being out on NYE and seeing so many drunks on the road it scared me. That's really the biggest reason for me to just stay home and watch a great movie or something fun like that without ever having to be on the road at all, especially after midnight.

So why am I even bringing this up now, a week after the fact? Simple, its because I read this tonight. I read it and thought "no way, no WAY!" However, in fact, it is indeed "way". Without a word of opinion, I read it outloud to Kevin and he responded to Ingrid's words with a heart AMEN. He agreed with her, and so do I.

Now, I understand evangelicism is all about being culturally relevant these days and we have to (apparently) bend over backward to make the lost around us feel right at home. I also understand how this is all about being missional in your local community. I get all that. I don't agree with it, in the way it's being lived out in many cases (especially in this case), but I get it. If this is what it looks and sounds like to be missional, call me a dinosaur. Call me a colonialist, a Victorian era prude looking at the world through KJV only-ish type legalistic fundy glasses. Call me whatever you want to, I don't really care - just don't call me missional, if this is what missional is supposed to be. There was a time in my life when I was already associated with drinking and partying on NYE, because that's what many lost people tend to do. When I became a Christian I left the old life where it belongs and I no longer live like an unbliever, it's reprehensible to me to even consider engaging in the old ways, for any reason at all.

In Ingrid's post she says this of those who do this sort of thing:
"Anyone who challenges them biblically will only get howled down by the pleasure-mad evangelical mob."

To which I must in all honesty simply say, I hope she's wrong. I hope Romans 12:2 actually means what it says to Christians, and instead of a howling-down by a pleasure-mad, missional mob, more Christians will finally stand up and say "no, this is not acceptable for a child of God".

Go ahead, call me a dinosaur. I'd rather walk the old paths of the saints that went before me, striving to live in a way that is pleasing to my Lord, than jump on any evangelical bandwagon just to blend well with the "hip" crowd.