I found Matthew Hurtt's column
in this morning's Daily News Journal
both interesting and damning. It's about the after-Sunday-worship crowd going out to eat.
There is a growing problem largely unaddressed by the religious community. This problem causes very serious unintended consequences for the Christian witness, that ability for Christians to share the Gospel with non-Christians.
Christian groups that routinely patronize restaurants after church on Sunday oftentimes behave in a manner that would lead servers and other restaurant attendees to believe Christians are rude, demanding and ungrateful people, which is definitely not an example Christians should strive to demonstrate. I feel that Christians may be acting this way unknowingly and that it simply needs to be brought to their attention.
This statement is in no way a generalization of the actions of all Christians who go out to eat after church, but this is how a majority of servers and non-religiousrestaurant-goers see Christians. In fact, there are many servers who refuse to work on Sundays because they dislike the atmosphere created by large Christian groups.
There are three major actions Christians subconsciously undertake when going out to eat: They exhibit a more demanding attitude than usual, they often leave a more noticeable presence, and they very rarely tip well.
Churchgoers, from what I have seen firsthand and heard from servers, routinely demand perfect service with little regard for their server. They often exhibit rude and un-Christian behavior. The "holier than thou" attitude certainly does little to help the witness of Christians in restaurants.
It's nothing new to hear that there is a group of people who claim to be Christians out there who follow the "do as I say, not as I do" theory. Or that there's a group that being a Christian extends only to living and acting that way when you're in the confines of a church for an hour or so a week (possibly more if you go on Wednesday evenings or are involved in other activities).
Here's the thing--if you really and truly are a Christian, then it's not just a Sunday morning or a Wednesday evening thing. It's a 24/7 thing and it's something that calls us to be different and to act that way. And I agree with the point that we're not exactly creating fertile soil to plant seeds for Christ's kingdom by being rude or not tipping your server. I mean, being a Christian is supposed to be a radical change in your life--not just how you act when you think everyone is looking, but also how you act when no one is watching.
I think in a lot of ways, the article points out that some are missing the whole point of Christianity. For me, it boils down to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, accept that He gave His only son to die for our sins and that it's a gift we could never earn on our own and that we should "love everybody."
And it seems there's some people out there who are kind of missing the whole point. And, in the process, defeating the call of the Great Commission. And that makes me kind of sad...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/01/2007 09:18:00 AM