Trip 38 / Entry 37 / Meat in the heat

Sunday, June 8, 2014

 

IMG_3248 crop

After a long drive into the mountains we arrived at a small house with cars parked along the side of the road. As we made our way into the yard we saw young men playing football (soccer), while older women sat talking under tall poplar trees trying to stay out of the sun. There was not a hint of a breeze.

We were invited inside the one room house to change into our casual clothes in the bathroom but when we went through the door we were immediately arrested by the air conditioned interior and the couch along the wall. We sat and waited our turn as we watched six Spanish girls chop tomatoes, lettuce and cilantro. We regretted to hear that the bathroom was now free, we could change our clothing and go out under the roof or the trees with the other forty hot, sweating people. Being the oldest people in the crowd allowed us few special privileges.

Outside the unfinished, three sided building was empty except for two guys playing ping pong and three others standing around a grill turning mounds of meat. I wasn’t surprised to see our guests and my Brazilian friend from Portugal giving a hand. Brazilians, barbecue and meat are synonymous. After what seemed like a very long time due to the heat and the lack of shade an incredible sit down meal was laid out for about forty or more people. We all had more than we could eat and frankly, some of the food had to go home with folks as leftovers. Bacon chunks and rice found its way to the table and almost always does when Spanish or Brazilians are prepping the food.

It was a wonderful time of fellowship and since I didn’t know everyone attending I took up a conversation with five people who were apparently unbelievers but I didn’t know so they all got plan “A” as I explained the purpose of apologetics by presenting several examples which caught their attention. For one thing, I talked about it means to have a Christian worldview and what it means to be human (Imago Dei) and the meaning of the fall using the text, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Indirectly many of my comments were affirmed though as it often happens, once the conversation gets too deep some retreat into obvious but utter silence.

In reality though, this is the most effective method for doing evangelism in a gospel resistant culture like Italy. The party model where Christians having a good time are put together with non-believers is most convincing since people can see the gospel before they ever hear it. The chances that any of these unchurched friends will find themselves in an evangelical church anytime soon are beyond remote unless they have prior positive exposure to the message or messenger(s).

 

Blog Removal Explanation

Some of you may have noticed that I have removed Blog Entries, “Canada, Whistling through a graveyard” and “To Open Minds.” I received a good read on these blogs (actually record numbers read them) and I had a number of responses. Most of you were positive and made a similar observation that what I am saying about Canada could be said about the entirety of western society and this is true. Some of you wanted clarification on some of my points.

I admit to using strong words to describe the prevailing cultural climate in Canada. I will admit that “trigger words” – words like ” smug” and “stupid” may have been poor choices. But, here I am not referring to individuals at all but rather to systemic and cultural perceptions.

There was, however one response that left me stunned. Because of this one unfavorable response from an old friend, I took the post down. I was accused of a number of character flaws (” arrogant, rude, obnoxious, hit-and-run, slash-and-burn, abusive and condescending attitude“) that I believe were once true but not so much now. My motivation for writing the column was also brought into question (“So I can only wonder…..what was it?  Nobody came to your meetings?  Not enough money in the offering?  No red carpet?”). If this does describe me, then I should know about it. Because this came from a person that I think cares about me, I took it to heart. I only hope that this isn’t true.  

 Perhaps the thing that troubled me most, was the charge that I was unpatriotic and unthankful to Canada for taking me in and giving me a home more than forty years ago. If this is how my blog came across then I beg the pardon of my fellow citizens and friends.

I will confess to not being very patriotic to any country. I have been a guest in more than twenty countries and have discovered good qualities (qualities Canadians and Americans do not have) in all of those countries and cultures. Let me confess that I am a bit of a world citizen.

On July 4th (Independence Day Sunday) in the church that I attend, they did a brief tribute to fallen soldiers and American Freedom and sang, “God Bless America.” I was respectful and sang along for I do appreciate what America has given me and the world. I was shocked, however, when people began to rise all around me with their hands over their hearts singing the song with gusto. In fact, there was so much enthusiasm for America I wondered why we can’t muster the same enthusiasm when we sing the songs of redemption from sin and hell. In America, sometimes and even among Christian’s who should know better, Caesar is God. Didn’t you know? Jesus is an American and a member of the Tea Party movement. Jesus is not a Democrat.  

Though I may not approve of every aspect of  America’s foreign policy, I am a ready defender of America and Americans when I travel in countries which are particularly hostile to her. Further, I am the one that threw the Canada Thanksgiving and Canada Day parties while living in Minnesota. I love these nations and these people.

Here’s the problem. I love the kingdom of God and His Christ more. My blog is not meant in any way to be anti-Canadian. In fact, it is just the opposite. Just as in Europe and America, social engineers in Canada are working through government, education and media and destroying the very heart of the people.

I have a prophetic side and this causes me to bear a burden for what I see. I use strong words to describe what I see. My blog was meant to convey the fear I have for the fate of Canadian’s (especially Canadian Christians), their children and the state of the church. Some former friends have already left the faith having been unknowingly seduced by the culture.  Many have not left the faith but have grown soft on many issues which God has spoken on. “Did God say?”

Have you ever heard the following statement? “Ideas have legs. Philosophy is behind everything and it is true that, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” This is what disturbs me. Europeans, Canadians and Americans are being victimized by social engineers who are intentionally describing for us what the world should be and look like. Your children go off to university to get an education. Government and university both will be happy if this happens, but the truth is, they will be even happier if your children will graduate with a certain way of viewing the world they live in. I promise that university classrooms are neither friends of free intellectual exchange or the Christian faith. It is estimated that 87 percent of students entering university believe in God while only 23% of those graduating believe in God. Media (movies and television) are busy stripping people of their Christian values and, in return, replacing these with nothingness (nihilism, the philosophy of Voltaire ).

Let me demonstrate to you how powerful this can be. Hitler was influenced by Nietzsche and there never would have been a Hitler without him. Lenin and Stalin were influenced by Hegel and Marx and there would never have been Communism without them.

My blog was not an unpatriotic, hateful diatribe against Canada or Canadian’s. My comments were born out of a great concern and love for my country and my friends there. I am deeply concerned for the children of Christian families, many of whom have over thrown the faith and some involved with drugs and ruinness relationships. I am worried for the pastors and concerned Christian leaders who deal with this onslaught of anti-Thesism and anti-Christ everyday. They are given an uphill battle to fight when the culture has their members  twenty-four hours a day and the pulpit has them for one and one-half hours of those one hundred sixty-eight hours.

Nevertheless, the scripture is clear (though Elijah and John the Baptist would have paid little attention to this), “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.”  I Corinthians 10:32 For this reason and this reason alone, I removed these entries. I can think of many more Bible verses that would have justified keeping them in.