Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pub Talk

My roommate and I frequent a certain bar in Fells and catch up on life. Last night was one such night. After dinner and talking we decided to walk down to the bar and have a drink...we got there and sat at the main bar with our drinks and started up a conversation that we had left off from earlier. Within a half hour of being there two men came up and sat at the bar beside us saying that we were the only two "normal" looking people to talk to in the whole bar (likely story). Oh how wrong they were...the first question that they asked us was what we did for a living. When we answered they knew immediately that we were anything BUT normal. Working for a church when you're 20-something isn't exactly normal...but the question that they asked is normally a very safe question for 20-somethings. The guys looked at us a little stumped because they didn't quite know where to go from there with the conversation. Now, all the bartenders at this bar know us and know what we do, so it's always really amusing for them to observe the men who approach us and how quickly they tend to retreat. But not these guys, they were determined to see this conversation through. After some really awkward questions about faith and politics I began to realize that this is what being a Christian should really be like all the time. That this is where ministry takes place...at the bar! That we are witnessing everywhere we go...not just at church but at bars, grocery stores, at the gym. The term "they will know that we are Christians by our love" is corny but true. There should not be a time when we aren't witnessing to our faith...but the cool thing is that we can still be normal and do that. I can have a conversation with someone in a bar over a drink.
It is always funny that the first question after people find out what we do is "are you allowed to drink?" People have such a warped conception of who Christ is and what religion is. So many people only see religion as a means of controlling people and oppressing freedom...but Christ said it perfectly, "I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly." He is not a God who oppresses His children...rather He is a God who allows us to live in freedom and love...His love! I think that G.K. Chesterton said it perfectly “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” We need to rise up and show the world that the Christian Ideals that we hold to as truth are worth the struggle that will end in victory with Christ. Maybe that starts with a conversation in a pub!

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