There have been so many jokes running around about the Rapture That Wasn’t, and on Sunday at church the pastor (?) had an admonishment: He would NOT mock the return of Christ, even if he did think the whole ‘calculated time’ thing was ill-advised. He said the atheists and heathen do this, and he hates seeing Christians joining them in it.

I of course waved my arm (we have a fairly informal setting, do you think?) and pointed out that if it wasn’t this, it would be something else; that the Church seems to go to a lot of effort (or perhaps the lack of effort produces it) to look and act like the world in a lot of ways. The way we mock the rapture-foretelling, how we dress, how we look, how we talk, what we find entertaining, where we spend our money, etc…

This grieves me. And no, I’m not trying to be on a high-horse, proclaiming “biblical” models for dress (shouldn’t we wear camel-hair robes, maybe?), just sad at the heart of things. Where is the difference? WHY should the world want what we have? In the quest to be “culturally relevant,” are we blurring the lines which might otherwise distinguish us? Or are we spending our lives splashing in the “freedom of Christ” without thinking of our testimony, or building anything that will last?

Don’t get me wrong; I know we have freedom, I know we sin, I know God forgives. But part of that circle is repentance. And if it’s there, it’s hiding. Shouldn’t Jesus be more than a Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free card? Shouldn’t there be fruit? Why are Christians drinking to drunkenness, and celebrating it? Why are they wearing *skimpy* costumes to role-playing parties? Why would a single (Christian) woman publicly announce her pregnancy on facebook – to cheers and congratulations? I understand sinning, falling. I understand immaturity that doesn’t lend itself to wisdom and discretion for a while. But I don’t understand the collective celebratory attitudes. Where is the repentance? Where is the humility? And more, what is the Christian’s responsibility in it? Do we have a responsibility? How do you respond to this? Is silence a worthy statement? Instead of congratulations, should we offer condolences? How do we show Christ’s righteous love without either condoning or condemning? Is it just “none of our business” and we pretend we don’t see?

I think maybe the cut-and-dried answers are few, and the Spirit must lead our response. Perhaps the woman announcing on facebook truly thinks sexual activity outside marriage for Christians isn’t a big deal. Perhaps she feels entitled to the same expressed joy as any other expectant mother. But… perhaps her heart condemns her thoroughly. Perhaps she is grasping, begging, for anyone to affirm her, to find some good in her circumstances.  I’d guess most of us are not privy to which of these she thinks or feels. What else is there but to be led by the Spirit? And pray, pray, pray…

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