Monday, August 08, 2005

HONK

An hour from the Mexico border at 2pm yesterday, while headed south from vacation on I-5, Shannon and I ran into a caravan of people proudly going to Mexico on a mission. The classic youth ministry caravan of 8+ passenger vehicles complete with luggage on the roof and painted slogans on the windows announced their journey and clarified who was -and who was not- in their entourage. I passed one SUV with the words, "we're on a mission to Mexico" covering the entire back window. The next said "Honk if you love Jesus." The next said more of missions trips and honking and then I ran into like 3 more cars that all said this, "Honk if you love Methodists".

What in the world is that about? I can accept that for some crazy reason we want to be supported in our causes on the road by honking. Protesters want you to honk. Children passing big rig trucks on the freeway want to be honked at. Marriages are celebrated by honking. Ok... all is well and good if you want to start a honkathon. Maybe it's just me and my upbringing, but the honk if you love Methodists thing bugged the hell out of me. I grew up going to a Methodist church. I then started attending a youth group and eventually attended and did internships at a Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) church. When I went to UC Davis I attended a Baptist church. I took my first job as a pastor in an Evangelical Free Church. I then moved to a church that lacks a denominational affiliation but has Calvary Chapel roots. I have served on the National Network of Youth Ministries Council at local and national levels for years now and have fought members of my own denominational affiliation at times for putting up walls over junk that didn't matter. I have such a huge passion for unity in the body of Christ that anything that seems to separate and divide grinds against my soul.

It's like putting honk if you love blacks or Mexicans or white people on your windows. Like does that mean by not honking that you don't love them? What about the Lutheran? Maybe this rant is stupid and they were a Baptist church showing some love to their Methodist brothers and sisters... but I'm not thinkin. Maybe I'll start making bumper stickers and selling them at christian conferences. Honk if you love ____________ and fill in as many denominations and details as I can. Like:

Honk if you love Southern Baptists in Texas but not in California.
Honk if you love wine with communion.
Honk if you love grape juice with communion.
Honk if you think drums are from hell and should never be in a church.
Honk if you think the earth was made in 6 literal days.
Honk if you are pre-trib. Frown if you are post-trib.
Honk if you loved the old pastor more than the one you're stuck with now.

Somehow... this isn't what Jesus died for... somehow I must be wrong but right now.... I'm just annoyed. How bout this... Honk for loving people unconditionally and declaring war on division among believers who have the same Holy Spirit now indwelled inside. How about Honk for Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Ps... lest I be accused of failing to practice what I preach... I did honk :) - primarily to love those who I'm guessing are Holy Spirit indewelled family members with whom I share a small point of frustration that grace covers for both of us. That is what Jesus died for.

3 comments:

Anonymous,  7:36 PM  

It's not that you are not practicing what you preach... it's just an inconsistent position to hold to. Here is a quote from someone much smarter than the both of us.

"It used to be that “tolerance was . . . the virtue that permits, even encourages, those with whom we disagree to speak up and defend their point of view. . . . In other words, one had to disagree with someone or something before one could tolerate it. But in our postmodern world, tolerance is increasingly understood to be the virtue that refuses to think that any opinion is bad or evil or stupid. One ‘tolerates’ everything because nothing is beyond the pale – except the view that rejects this view of tolerance: for that, there is no tolerance at all. Quite frankly, this is intellectually incoherent”

brian c. berry 10:38 PM  

I guess I am not that smart cuz this comment confuses me. I'm not sure what is inconsistent or why this comment is anonymous or who or what is being quoted. I think tolerance in the biblical sense is grace, which allows us... in this situation to disagree vocally and still know God's grace is sufficient for all of us... but maybe I really didn't understand this comment. Oh well. I'll honk for you too (whoever you are) if ya need it.

bradonthemic 9:05 AM  

...my guess is, anonymous has been sitting on that quote for weeks, just waiting for the opportunity to use it. unfortunately, none came along, so he arbitrarily picked your blog. i can understand - it is afterall a great quote. i fail to see how it points out any inconsistency in your post, however. actually, i'm not getting how it relates at all (the last line of the quote sums it up for me). i say, sit it out longer next time, anonymous - that perfect opportunity is bound to present itself sooner or later!

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Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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