My husband is in Homiletics Class at NSBI, and he gets to preach this week. His text is in Mark 7, where Jesus is being asked about his disciples eating without washing their hands. This seemed like a slam dunk text- pretty clear cut. Of coarse we get into discussions and then we realize there are so many things about this text that are anything but clear cut. With regard to the historical account, the scribes and pharisees were just poking around at them trying to discredit any thing that Jesus would be a part of. That seems pretty straight forward. They like to hide their inward filth by washing their outward flesh.
On the other hand, the disciples have clean hearts, and presumably dirty flesh. At least not washed like most mothers would expect before eating dinner. Where am I going with all this? And on a Mission Monday post as well?
We really do judge by the outward appearance. I have the tattoo pictures here, and if I see a person all inked up, I wonder what was missing in their life that they felt they had to do that? Some would say it is preference. For me, I prefer to drive a Montana mini van. I have my clothes look like the stereotypical suburban wife and mother. I choose to make sure my children address people as "Mr." and "Mrs". But am I judged as a good person because of these choices? By some, yes.
Now others would say "It is my conviction" that I drive, wear, educate ... the various choices they make. Is there a way to draw the line? Could my preference really be someone else's conviction? This is murky water here, and I am not taking this lightly. What is my responsibility to other Christians in this matter? Do I treat all as weaker brethren, and choose to cut out liberty in Christ? Or do I stand on the position that I have a clean heart and God knows it? It is so wrong to say because someone has tattoos they are ungodly. Or because some wear head coverings and don't wear makeup they are holy and righteous. Man looks on the outside, God sees the heart. Just an FYI, look here, and see a few peoples views.
Why does all this seem so monumental to me right now?
In the foreseeable future we are going to be driving our 1998 Chevy van all over this great land of ours. Now we know who we are in Christ, and where we stand on "the issues". What we don't know is anything other than FBBC. We have talked to many, but I am convinced experience will be our only teacher! So, how do we prepare for this? We are already in the process of being in the process of starting to see how we should proceed in getting meetings scheduled. (No, there are no typo's or grammatical errors in the previous sentence.) How do we portray our family on a prayer card? Should we use a lot of African-ish colors? Would a 4x6 be better, or the newer "smaller" cards? And then once we are on the road it gets even more complicated! Should we warn our kids that people will ask them strange questions, like "so did your father pray with you every time after he whooped your hide with a three inch leather strap?"- or- "have you ever even looked at another version of the Bible?" Yikes! I know I am being a little dramatic here, but it is tons to process!
In all things, I can only pray that we are taking the next step in the path that God would have us on. I think it will be fun to do a prayer card. I like the idea of seeing in print a tangible copy of our call to the mission field. My kids are such great people! Who wouldn't love to meet them, house them, feed them for a few days, learn to love them and then enjoy patching the holes in the walls when we leave? There are many unknowns in our future, but the one known is God. He has the plan. As we need to know, we know. See my previous MM post, and you will know I am getting OK with this!