Loving Ned Flanders

This blog post by Matt Chandler over at The Resurgence convicted the heck out of me — just what do I think I’ve become when I criticize, judge, and secretly (or not-so-secretly) despise believers who wear suits to church, sing tearfully that “the cross is my statue of liberty,” carry tapestry-and-mauve Bible holders, and frown disapprovingly at any artwork not by Thomas Kinkaid? I’ve become, Matt reminds me, the very thing that I despise! If I angrily denounce their efforts to make punks take out their gaged earrings and comb their hair and purge all the black from their wardrobe, shouldn’t I reject with as much fervency anyone’s attempt to make them start singing Matt Redman songs or dress down for Sunday services?

I’m still going to question my friends who listen only to K-LOVE or Air1. I’m still going to challenge folks who think you have to dress a certain way to go to church. I’ll probably never watch TBN, nor will I stop discouraging people from doing so. I’ll likely never be comfortable with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance or the singing of patriotic songs in church. But it’s high time I started re-evaluating the attitude of my heart towards believers who are different than I am.

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2 thoughts on “Loving Ned Flanders

  1. When your “Aunt Val” was a young, Christian, hippy chick (She'd probably be a punk today!), we went to a Women's Aglow conference in Tennessee. There she was in her tattered jeans, peasant shirt, and knee-length braided hair, along with several 50-70 year olds with white hair, church dresses, and an assortment of minks. After a time of Judas-like criticism (“This could have been sold and given to the poor!”), God convicted her with the remark, “How many millionaires are you going to save dressed like that! I have placed them where they are to save those I have called, and I have placed you where you are so save those I have called where you are. Do not judge MY sheep!” We need to be working for the kingdom where God has placed us, and stop looking at other churches, or individuals so critically, save for the sin issue.

  2. I forgot to mention this to you last night when we were discussing Sam Storms, but Matt Chandler was my college pastor in Abilene. It's so crazy to see how he's becoming more and more recognized. His wife and I both sang at different times on the worship team, and you can hear some of her music on myspace.

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