For far too long Christians seemed to be preoccupied with being good people, not sinning, and going to church. You know, just being nice little do-gooders. We don’t do bad things, say bad words, or go to bad places. Contrary to Jesus’ teachings, we attempt to be the brightest light in the light places, when He distinctly told us to be a light in the darkness.
I’d like to offer a personal example.
I attended a ministry conference a while back. On one of the breaks, we were to team-up with another attendee and go out looking for people to pray for. I partnered with a young man named Jim. We made a few stops and eventually, accidentally (honestly), ended up at a bar where Jim ordered a burger and I just had a water.
The entire time we were there, a guy at the end of the bar was being rather loud and chatting-up the waitresses. (I really wish I could remember his name.) I really wanted to talk to him and was inspired to pick up his tab. I did so and was able to speak with him for a few minutes. He was really interested in why I paid his bill.
I told him why we were in town and we just had a nice little conversation. He did what many people do when talking to someone who seems more religious than they are, he started talking about his short-comings – he doesn’t go to church like he knows he should, he shouldn’t drink so much and he should stop swearing… I asked him that if I really cared about all that, why would I buy his drinks? He was stumped. He still couldn’t get over that.
I could tell he had had a somewhat religious up-bringing, but we took that opportunity to tell him about the real Gospel, something it was clear he was not familiar with. A simple retelling of God’s mercy and grace – without judgement. The three of us were all changed a little that evening… in a bar.