Thursday, December 31, 2009

The BLENDER: that's the problem!

Just a last minute thought for the Old Year.

As we move into the next chapter of humanity on this planet, people are getting bombed, killed or smashed by the latest volcano somewhere other than Altoona Iowa. So what I read on the net or see on the tube means little to my comfort as I stand in line at the local Fareway grocery store purchasing my Velveeta and Rotel for our New Years Eve party at church.

I wonder if that’s what Jesus had in mind.

I want to leave you with this challenge. Are we eating whole foods, biblically speaking, or are we using a blender to homogenize the tastes of this world with the Bible?

I ask that because for years, I’ve made my kids fruit and veggie smoothies. Now mind you, when they were real little they had no clue that the canned peaches, apples, strawberries, and bananas were blended with the frozen spinach and broccoli, plus a good dose of apple juice and dry coffee creamer.

Now they’re old enough to accept the fact that I duped them into drinking something that tasted real sweet, but contained all the phytochemicals they would need for at least two years in one glass full. And that’s okay; at least when it comes to kids, veggies, and proactive health and nutrition strategies for parents.

But what about the church? Curt my friend from Cornerstone in DeWitt, Iowa, has been a stalwart example of biblical influence in his community for the better part of 20 years. He challenged me regarding my passions for a church re-born in the twentieth century or before the Perousia. Thanks man, I need your old ex-Lutheran perspective.

As of yet, my research and rebuttal has been limited to citing George Barna and pollsters of the like. But I think I came up with a thought regarding the modern American church. The problem: THE BLENDER!

That’s right… the blender. Not the Jack LaLanne juicer, but the religious and culture Sunday morning church blender.

See with the blender, I was able to sneak all sorts of weird and healthy stuff into my kids’ drinks. And they had no clue, until they got old enough to ask why their smoothies were kind of brownish green.

And the same is true with the need based hunger of the American church. If I’m good enough, I can mix in all sorts of worldly stuff to make something powerful and life changing taste real good. And if I’m compromising enough, I can mix all sorts of worldliness into my biblical teaching so it tastes real palatable. All in the name of getting the group to drink what I think they need to drink.

This paradox could go either way. If my values are God’s values and I’m basing my teaching and life on the New Testament, but I want to creatively mix in some of the worldly flavors, so my worldly culture becomes willing to consume the often tasteless biblical truths I present… then okay. Right?

But if on the other hand, I’m mixing more and more worldly flavors so they hide the biblical taste of what I’m presenting and the power and potential of the truth is diminished, then maybe I’m doing a very eternal disservice to my drinkers.

Either way… beware of the BLENDER. Pluralism could be the undoing of a century of efforts here on the American homeland. But then again, who am I but a lowly tradesman who preaches on the weekends.

Happy New Year! Hope your blender is full of fruity spirited cheer this evening!

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