Friday, February 12, 2021

Back to Church - Part 2

It was the first summer after starting to attend church again. We (the church choir) were taking a trip to Florida and back (from the Chicago area). Stopping at churches along the way, doing concerts, spending the night in churches or at the homes of folks from that church. Making it to Orlando to spend a day at Disney, then back with the same plan. Don't recall a lot of things, but here is one memory.

It was after we had returned from the trip. Someone approached the Youth Minister and asked how things went. He replied that overall, things had gone well, just a few minor bumps in the road. Like the one kids who showed up wearing a Budweiser hat. That was me! It just never dawned on this son of German immigrants, former Catholic, that that would be frowned on. Did he remember it was me? Did he know I could hear him? I recall thinking, if that was an issue, why didn't you talk to me about it? Not one person, adult or youth, made any mention that such apparel might be considered inappropriate by some. So that we a glimpse into legalism. I was careful not to wear such apparel around church kids again. In fact. that hat "disappeared" somewhere on the trip. I sometimes wonder...

I look back and see a lot of legalism in the church. Like how we talk about dating. Seems like everything is about finding that magic line, and making sure that it does not get crossed. Forget about teaching people to love and honor God with their lives, just stay away from crossing that line! Thank goodness we weren't Baptist. At least we could go to movies and attend dances. But in many ways it was the same thing, only different rules. Tithe, don't use certain words, look good for Sunday service, etc. The Scribes and the Pharisees were also good a making rules. Got to have a pretty dish. (Luke 11:37-41) We love pretty dishes. Problem is, some people get so caught up in doing dishes that they forget why that is so important. I am not advocating that behavior does not matter, as I have been accused of doing. What I am advocating is that the motive behind the behavior is just as if not more important that the behavior itself. If it were only the behavior that mattered, was Jesus death really necessary? 

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