Monthly Archives: August 2013

Christianity is Bad for Business

business

It was a great idea. “Lets buy them some food & coffee, they don’t expect it, they are working hard, it will be a real encouragement to them.” Said my wife, I quickly added, “and we can make a sign saying, ‘with love from Meta’ (our church name)”  that way I thought to myself, they would know where the love is coming from. We could get a possible ‘return on the investment’, people in the neighborhood would start to see how kind and generous we are, they would appreciate us more, and want to be a part of what we are doing, this is “relational entrepreneurialship” at it’s finest, who could fault this kind of thinking, it’s a win for everyone, these blissful thoughts continued to fill my mind, as I envisioned what the card might look like. My wife didn’t seem as convinced as me.  Then like a party ruining rain cloud the words of Jesus drenched my mind. “But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Well that kind of talk doesn’t help me get the publicity I need to build this church! That is precisely Jesus’ point. The Good news of Jesus has nothing to do with with self glory. Healthy churches serve in the shadows. Self glory is the opposite of God’s glory and when it comes to following Jesus individually and as a community you can’t have both. Christianity is bad for business but its great for life.

Korean Atheist meets Jesus Follower

Leonard-Wasserman-one-time-mayor-of-Oregon

I was walking home from Stanley Park when a man flagged me down and asked me
if I was from here.  I replied to the affirmative and he queried again if I
was sure I wasn’t from Toronto.

“No,” I laughed, “I’m from here.”

“Well then where am I?” he asked pointing at a touristy map.  I pointed to
the spot and he still looked puzzled so I asked him where he wanted to go.
He replied that he didn’t even know but he needed to return the bike he’d
rented for the hour.  I told him I was pretty sure I knew where that was and
when I explained and he remained confused, I offered to just walk w/ him to
the shop.

As we proceeded down the road toward the bike rental shop, I found out that
he originated in Korea, but was currently living in Burlington, Alabama.  He
was in Vancouver attending a conference that he found dreadfully boring so
he’d skipped out and rented a bike.  He said riding around the seawall felt
like a bit of heaven!  That’s when I noticed his three piece suit w/ rubber
bands around the pant legs.  ; -)

He asked how long I’ve lived in Vancouver and why we’d moved here.  I
decided to just say the truth w/o reserve and blurted out “Because my
husband felt like this is where God wanted us to be.”

He stammered at that and asked, “Is your husband like a pastor or
something?”

” Yes he is” I answered.  And this is where the conversation became very
interesting:  He laughed and declared that he is an Atheist.

“WHY would you want to be an atheist”, I asked.

He said, “Because I cannot bear the thought of forever and ever – what kind
of sense does that make anyway. . .why would you go visit your son if you
have forever to do it – I just don’t want to go on forever!”

“What are you hoping in after you die?”

“I just plan to die and rot in the ground and feed the plants.”

“And that gives you a lot of hope, doesn’t it?”  I asked w/ mild sarcasm.

He laughed and looked me in the eye and said “No – not really.”  He told me
his wife is Catholic and argues w/ him all the time about God.

“I believe the story of Jesus is the most beautiful amazing rescue story and
I’m choosing that one.”  I encouraged my new friend to believe the better
story because belief is a choice.

By this time we’d reached the bike shop.  The Korean Atheist shook my hand
and thanked me for my help, then he jokingly said, “I’m glad I ran into you
and maybe it was Jesus who directed our paths to cross.”

I looked him in the eye, nodded slowly and said, “Yes maybe it was”.

He suddenly became very serious and looked squarely at me and said, “Maybe I
need to reconsider my belief”.

“Yes, I think you do,” I said with a smile. We shook hands and parted ways –
strangers and yet friends.