(This isn’t a judgement on the 70’s church but using it as an example. The 70’s is when I accepted Christ and have had a beautiful relationship with Him, the generation of the 70’s and circumstances made for a good background to my topic).
The seventies was an interesting era. If you have watched that 70’s show Red has issues with raising his term children by his standards where the kids have their own values.
The church was no different. We were separating ourselves from a culture we were used to.
I remember one youth group meeting in around 78 or so. We were the “church kids” and when an “outsider” who we knew did drugs and came to the group we kind of shunned them in the meeting as they weren’t Christianesed. They language, dress and culture clashed in great areas to those of us that had been raised in the church. Yes a few went to the parties with them and associated with them but when they walked in the doors they didn’t fit in.
As we continued to grow and move on we were conflicted because how do we reach those outside the church when we didn’t want them in the building? Add that there was music that made the hairs on our elders turn a premature grey, yet today are our oldies but goodies and we say the same of our children and grandchildren.
We wonder why now 40 some years later those that grew up in the 70’s church have struggles in trying to serves a God that would hate gays, that if we have a tattoo or piercings we have degraded God’s temple and are going to hell in a hand basket. We walk on egg shells around anything that we think doesn’t represent God in a tank top, dirty jeans and smoking a cigarette because they can’t kick their habit yet someone called them out in the sanctuary that they smell like smoke and need to leave.
We judge them for having a job on Sundays when the job requires it for the health and safety of the community and then say they lack faith because they can’t ask for it off to attend church.
The 70’s church created a culture of goodness to keep out the riffraff who needed to walk through the doors yet were told to clean up before entering as we don’t want to shampoo the carpets again.
This isn’t just about that 70’s church. This is about the church that took a stand to bring in teaching so that we would live a life of condemnation and fear. They thought they were doing a good thing but we are having a lot of lies coming about from teachings that should never have been taught.
We should not be afraid to encourage someone as they are walking to a drug house by waving and giving them a blessing. Go to the bars and have a conversation with your friends and only have water. Take the jokes about being a tea totter, your stand with the water showed volumes to them. They want true friendships that they can trust.
If you remember how Red ruled his home yet Kitty seemed to have more control because she saw the heartbeat of her children. The church needs to learn God’s heartbeat towards His children.
Through unconditional love the church will be what it was created to be. A church that opens its doors to all walks of life is one that has God’s heartbeat.