As a continuation to my last post...
Christians tend to be surrounded by Christians. It's all part of the "You are what you eat theory"... or like my mom used to say, "You are who you pal around with..." by where she would verbally assault me letting me know how I needed to make good choices regarding friends and good decisions when with friends and the lethal statement that would leave me too afraid to get into trouble, "But no matter what, know that I TRUST YOU!" My mom was no fool Ya'll. (Did I just say Ya'll... what's up with that?)
It seems that we, as people, tend to prefer to be around people of likeness. Same looks, same hobbies, same ages, same jobs, same schools, same sports, same- same- same- same. And yet, as Christians we're called to BE IN THIS WORLD. I suppose that means LEAVING our cozy habitats, tailored surroundings, and safe havens in the name of furthering His will.
What I'm wondering though, regarding this incredibly GRAY subject matter in the Bible, what actually constitutes "IN THIS WORLD"? What defines the activities or locations in which we chose to participate/attend?
Is it intention?
"Well, I don't drink but I'll go to a bar with a friend because I want to establish a friendship so I can have an opportunity at some point to share the truth and person of Christ with them?"
Is it strong will?
"Well, I can go to a bar with a friend because I'm not tempted by alcohol etc so I know I won't falter and be a bad example."
Is it the call of God?
"Well, the bar is not usually where I would be but feel the Lord has called me to go "into darkness" and "be light"..."
And so long as I have selected a bar for the example of the day- are we ever to simply NOT GO because a place such as that is not a reflection of who we are and is not the fruit that comes with growth and change in the Lord?
PLEASE allow me to pause here and clearly state that I am NOT at all judging those that frequent bars. It is clearly a personal decision everyone makes. Even when we don't consciously make a decision regarding things of this nature... we still make a decision... so I don't challenge people who like to go there for whatever reason... And please know that I am not saying that going to a bar is an out right indication of unholiness or anything of that nature.
I am actually just using it as one of the many things that I know people do and with which brings judgement and speculation. I bring it up because I want to know what any of you think regarding The Great Commission and whether going to a bar, or any number of other places by where there may be heavy drinking, drugs, swearing and or violence (things with which may not surround ourselves on a regular basis) for the sole purpose of creating (or maintaining) friendships by where the truth and person of Christ can then be shared.
Here's an example- having been saved only since late in my junior year of highschool... and riding the fence most of college with half Christian friends and half non-Christian friends... I found myself at the bars on Saturday night and in church Sunday morning. (Made for some festive weekends I'll tell you...) So- living the life I do now by where I haven't so much as walked into a bar in 10 years... what if an old college friend calls and wants to catch up at a bar at like 10pm??? What if that friend is still riding the fence or worse than that... never really believed?
Is this the "Be in the world but not of it part"? Or is this the, "You are who you pal around with part".....
I could argue BOTH sides. That's why I'm posting about it. I really want to know what people think.
Furthermore- I do realize there is no black and white. There is no right or wrong answer... it's clearly gray. But I do find myself wondering. Because, if all one person has ever known is bars and parties and "fun".... how do we as Christians put ourselves in any position with that person to be a friend- to have a relationship- a foundation for which the truth of God can be laid on fertile soil??