I thought that I was the coolest kid in the entire neighborhood.
It turns out that sometimes there can be a pretty big gap between what you think and reality.
It was Christmas morning and I had just opened up the three best presents I had ever been given. The first was a blue jean jacket. If you’re unfamiliar with the blue jean jacket, imagine that a pair of blue jeans and a shirt had a kid. The second gift was a Sit ‘N Skate. There’s a real good chance that you have no idea what that is. It’s a seat with a handlebar attached to it and skate board wheels on the bottom. It sits about three inches off the ground and you make it go by putting your feet on the handlebars and moving them side to side. The third gift was George Thorogood & The Destroyers’ Bad to the Bone on cassette. No explanation needed for that one.
I spent the entire day Sit ‘N Skate’n through my neighborhood with my blue jean jacket while listening to Bad to the Bone. If I could’ve somehow convinced my friends to buy blue jean jackets and Sit ‘N Skates, we would have made a pretty good gang.
That never worked out.
Like I said, I wasn’t quite as cool as I thought I was.
This year marked my fourth year as a pastor and, by far, the one thing that has baffled me the most is the amount of good, moral people who claim to love Jesus and even try to raise their kids in accordance to what he taught but who have no regard at all for his Church. They claim to belong to Jesus but have no interest in belonging to the people for whom he died.
They act as if Jesus said, “Be a good person and maybe just a few times a year, try to go to whatever church you can find, listen to The Fish and then I will make you fishers of men. Just you and me, buddy!”
These people aren’t quite as Christian as they think they are.
Sometimes I think that Satan’s favorite sport is baseball just because of the amount of families that sacrifice their kids to the recreational gods at the expense of any commitment to the local church.
Hunting is even worse. It grieves me to see a woman dragging her kids to church without her husband because it’s hunting season.
Every year, hunting and baseball seasons seem to get longer and longer.
Of course, the problem is not with baseball or hunting. Those are both good things that can be used to glorify God and strengthen families. But the Bible and experience has shown us that Satan is the master of using good things to achieve an evil end.
Those three gifts of mine, the ones that I thought made me so cool, are now lost.
I’m afraid that the same may be true of all the people here in the Bible Belt who have convinced themselves that they are more Christian than they really are.