Nr.119 ended with: “One night I took them to one of my home Bible studies, but as we entered the living room I was a bit shocked ……..!” (See richardandmarina.net).
You see, that fairly small room was not only filled with about 25 people, but it was also full of smoke and the table was cluttered with beer bottles and glasses, some of which were still half full. I thought, oh dear, what are my elders going to think of this? Forty years ago in Canada, smoking and alcohol were taboo in most evangelical circles, just as in other cultures there are other taboos. We had a Russian preacher visiting Belgium some years ago and he was quite upset that women wore slacks to church meetings.
Some years ago I heard the following story. Members of an evangelical church in Germany had heard about the behavior of Christian women in America, that they were wearing mini-skirts, using lipstick and ear rings, etc. They were quite upset about this and decided to send a delegation to America to investigate, because this was pretty serious. And sure enough, when they came back they called the church together and affirmed what they had heard; in fact it was even worse. They all became so sad that many started crying; even some of the men, and as they did, their tears ran down their cigars into their beer glasses! 🙂 Different cultures, different customs, different convictions, right?
We had a wonderful evening as I taught the Word of God, followed by a time of questions and answers. Then we had a brief time of prayer, which we did in some home studies. It was wonderful to hear these new believers, baby Christians pray, just short sentences thanking the Lord for the Bible, for Jesus or for their salvation. After more coffee and discussion, we left the house and got into my car. As we were driving along I started asking the elders what they thought of the meeting. They were just delighted and happy with what they had seen and heard. Then again, very carefully, I asked, “but what about the beer glasses and the smoke…………?” (Go to Musings).