I’m not going to lie: this entry is inspired by the episode of How I Met Your Mother. The episode focuses on the workplace life of one of the main characters, Marshall Eriksen. After being picked on by his co-workers, Marshall summons his childhood hero, Dr. Birnholz-Vazquez, a scientist who lived among the gorillas in Africa. Much to his fiance’s frustration, Marshall begins acting like his co-workers so he would be accepted by them.
A popular Christian axiom goes “Be in the world, but not of the world.” This more-or-less summarizes a popular passage about being ambassadors of the world. The overall message is don’t be like everyone else who likes money, status, material items, things like that. Instead, look at the world like Jesus did, with eternity in mind. Unfortunately, Christians can get easily distracted by “the world” and miss out on what God is doing. And some Christians take things too far by doing things they normally wouldn’t do to get accepted by their non-Christian peers.
This is always a tricky topic with Christians because the line between being in the world and being of the world is very thin and sometimes the two sides blend together. But part of being a Christian is realizing that we aren’t here to change the world. We’re here to change lives.
As I mentioned in my last post, too many Christians spent too much time trying to save a sinking ship. So, instead of trying to save the remaining passengers, they go to the bar, have a drink, dance on the dance floor, and then if they feel confident enough, they’ll tell their fellow shipmates that the ship is indeed sinking.
Don’t misunderstand: there is nothing wrong with alcohol or going dancing. I’m not the mayor of the tiny town of Footloose! But I’ve seen too many Christians use these events as an excuse to get to know their fellow shipmates and never get around to sharing the message that the boat is not going to last forever.
This is what happens when our goal is to be accepted by the gorillas instead of trying to save them. Acceptance should be a means to an end and not the end itself.