Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Office Christmas Parties and Professing Christians

Well, the Christmas season is upon us and with that comes the office Christmas parties. Some of these are good, some are bad and some are just downright ugly. Oh there is the other kind as well, the non-existent one. That’s the kind my job has, although they do give us an extended lunch period the day before Christmas Eve and we all bring something to eat, a pot-luck if you will. Don’t get me wrong, I am very appreciative of the extended lunchtime and most of the food brought is good.

A lot of office Christmas parties are nothing more than an excuse to have a party. By party I mean drinking alcohol. I attended my wife’s office party this past weekend and really felt like a outcast. I am by no means a conversationalist, especially with people I do not know and about things I do not have any desire to talk about. This night was a prime example of that. For those of you that think I'm quiet, you would have thought I was comatose had it not been for the occasional drink of the diet soda. The closest thing that even resembled a conversation I had was with someone that attends my former church (read my other blog entries to see the state of this church). I asked them how things were going there, with all the changes taking place, etc. I knew they would be very vague because they only graced the church with there presence every now and then.

I went into the evening with the desire to be a faithful witness and actually preach a little bit. Most of these people are professing Christians, but you would have had a hard time picking them out from the others. Drinking, cussing and talking about men (from the ladies) were the status quo of the night. I did pass out a few gospel tracts during the parade that was taking place outside before I partook of the hors devours and joined my wife upstairs at C.C. Cohen’s in downtown Paducah.

So why am I writing about this? I guess it’s to vent, somewhat. I have to continually remind myself “Sinners are going to be sinners. They are going to sin. They aren’t spiritual, the do not want anything to do with God”. It’s a really hard thing to do when they claim to be Christians. It is blasphemous to profess Christ and live like the world. I saw the real deal hypocrites in full force that night. Well, until the Christian doctor in the practice showed up and everyone seemed to change very quickly in what they were saying, what they were drinking, etc. Although when he and his wife did show up I felt a kinship for the first time that night.

As Christians we are supposed to distance ourselves from the worldly things. James 4:4 says that to be friends with this world is to be an enemy of God. Matt. 5:13-16 says that we are the salt and light of the world and we are to let our lights shine to glorify God. I know some will say “Well, you have to be out in the world to share the gospel.” And that is true, you have to spread the Word, but should you be doing so to people that are under the influence of alcohol? Not drunk, but “feeling good” as they call it. Matt 7:6 says that we are not to give that which is Holy to dogs or cast pearls before swine. Is this what that verse means? Not to spread the seed in places that are not tilled yet? But, maybe instead, do a little tilling, preparation for the sharing of the Gospel? In my experience, telling someone that is drunk about Christ would be like casting pearls before swine – they would not and could not appreciate what is being told to them, they would dismiss it as soon as you open your mouth.

That night I was out of my element. My element has been to be around mutually edifying brothers and sisters that love the things of God. We do go out and witness and yes, it is in areas that sinners frequent, but not in a bar, strip club or casino. There are obviously sinners at all of those places, but they are all one huge pigsty. The pearls of Truth would be trampled on in the mud of the flashing lights and cigarette smoke. I have heard of people saying that it is o.k. to go to a bar to witness. My question is – where do you draw the line on sinful places to go to for witnessing? Do you also go to the strip clubs? The casinos? How about the porn shops? Maybe just go into a Mormon Temple or Jehovah’s Witness church? Those places are houses for the demons and if you enter in one of them you better be prepared for spiritual warfare. But then again, maybe they are no worse than the majority of professing Christian churches out there as well, that have created their own god that allows them to frequent those kinds of establishments because they are living under grace and only have to ask to be forgiven. O how that makes my blood boil to hear someone say that.

This post has really gone on a different direction than planned, which often is the case with me. Eclectic at best, but prayerfully, informative and relatable. I guess I should really start using an outline and sticking to it. Nah!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading that despite the fact it went a different direction than you planned. I understand how you felt at the party (I have a difficult time thinking of that as a "Christmas" party). Good on you to pass out tracts anyway.

I also agree with witnessing to certain people in certain frames of mind would be as casting pearls before swine. However, I think I would be one of the folks who gave a conditional thumbs-up to going into a bar to witness (not that I've done it). I say conditional because one has to be respectful of the owner of the establishment, and if someone is drunk he could get riled up... it's probably not the best weekly-witness destination but I wouldn't say God couldn't lead someone to go there. Ditto casinos. (A strip club would be a totally different issue, especially for a man, because of the lust issue - though I have actually heard of Christian women who go there regularly to witness to the "performers." I will let God handle that one - I have no desire to do that!)