Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Should I take offence?

Last night was very interesting. For those of you who don't know I spend a large deal of my Monday night in my local, seeing old friends and making deeper friendships with the ones I think I already know. This is only an Essex thing as I got scared off the Luton pub culture by a strange man in a wheel chair blowing kisses at me whilst I stared beyond him to see the boy that blew me off last year. The story is obviously much longer than that and I may choose to indulge myself one day, but there's no point right now. Anyway... back to the pub. Had spent most of the time discussing life as we know it, other peoples problems and solutions. I had dessert again, this isn't a good thing, while I'm in Essex dessert is the thing I disappear into and think of Luton. I always come out the other side thinking about why my ice cream hasn't been eaten. I know the reason, but I know if I share it with my pub companions they'll beat me with a forest, yes its that bad!

Well, not only was last night just that tiny bit different, it was also very enlightening. For some unknown reason (well I came in halfway through the conversation) my half of the table started talking about Christians marrying non-Christians. I only joined in because someone said that no where in the bible did it say Christians should marry Christians and there was no where that it said they shouldn't marry non-Christians. This I know to be untrue, as I happen to have read more than enough relationship books (and I constantly tackle this subject with my conscience and youth group).

The trouble was finding it, and after a large glass of red wine, chocolate cake and a double Tia Maria and coke, it was a little harder than I thought! After searching and giving up to listen to the conversation I re-focused my efforts and there it was 2 Corinthians 6 v14-17. I rudely interrupted the person who had said it didn't exist and read the verses, to a stunned pub audience. After that I spent the rest of the time chatting about infant baptism (don't ask, I've never been entirely sure where I stand on this on) and then back to the question, 'If God gave you a non-Christian to marry would you trust him?' My initial reaction would be yes and my explored reaction would be

'Matthew 7 v10-11 "Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"'

God knows what I would like and now I don't need to worry because what ever happens God and Jesus are there to guide me and the Holy Spirit gives me words to say. If this question had caused me offence I would have said something, but it wasn't, something entirely different happened after.

At home I was really expecting to carry on the conversation with my sister and when I asked her why she didn't take part in the conversation I was surprised at the answer, she said she'd rather be a Christian friend in a group of mates than spend her chill out time in the pub having a discussion about Christian values and ways of life. I was shocked at the speed at which her argument came out. Should I be offended? At the time I felt really offended and couldn't understand that a thing that is such an important part of my life should just be dismissed so quickly. It left me feeling like I'd gone back to the Sunday Christian thinking, where God is at church and on a Sunday. Yes I can grasp why you may not want to talk about God issues in a pub, but (as cliched as it is) I'm not ashamed of the Gospel. I had waited for that moment for 2 months, we've never talked about God for so long in that pub, usually he's a passing comment. I think God's people talking about God makes them more attractive and lights up their whole being (not just there face). For the first time in ages I actually felt good about being really late home last night.

I guess I'm used to it, about 80% of my friends are Christian in Luton, I don't think I fully appreciated their support and their advice up until now.