Theology on Tap

Found this on another site and thought I would share it. This is from the Mongtomery Advertiser .

The Rev. Rick Mason has a mission to reach those who have given up on church to show them what they’re missing. But he knows that those are the hardest people to lure.

That’s why Mason, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Prattville, has decided not to try to bring the unchurched to church — he’s bringing the church to them.

Or at least, he’s bringing it to where they hang out.

On Tuesday, Mason is starting a new program called Theology on Tap, scheduled for the first, third, fourth and fifth Tuesdays of each month, where people can gather to talk about scripture and faith issues.

And this new program will be — where else? — in a bar.

“I wanted a way to reach out to the unchurched, or as I like to call them, dechurched,” Mason said. “It’s for those with questions who don’t feel comfortable enough asking in a church atmosphere.”

Mason said he got the idea from something he learned while teaching evangel classes in South Carolina.

“Someone once told me that there’s nothing in the Bible that says build a building, put my name on it and wait for the people to come,” he said. “We need to be going out and meeting people in a place that they’d feel comfortable.”

On Tuesday, that place will be the Pratt Pub in Prattville next to Bama Lanes. Mason said the Pratt Pub is the kind of place “Jesus would have hung out in to find people.”

Mason knows a lot about those people — he was one of them.

Mason spent 20 years out of the church — a time that he says was God’s way of preparing him for this mission.

“I still have some issues with organized religion and I know how hard it is to go back,” he said. “I think this is easier — neutral ground.”

Some of Mason’s issues will be discussed in the first Theology on Tap on Tuesday, when the subject will be “The Seven Great Lies of Organized Religion.” Mason says the discussion will deal with some of the things the church says and does that puts people off.

Mason said this week would mainly to see who comes and what they want to talk about.

“I don’t want to hit anyone over the head with a Bible. I want it to be comfortable,” he said. “I’m not going in with any preconceived notions of who is going to be there or what questions they’re going to ask.”

I thought this was interesting…what do you think?

33 thoughts on “Theology on Tap”

  1. I would say “accusing tone” is like “splitting hairs”. It’s a freakin’ metaphor or something. It’s not like you are actually taking one of my hairs and physically splitting it…🙂

  2. <>Well, in my read of the scriptures, the answer is to keep looking until the lost are found. That is far different from waiting around for the lost to find their way to us…<>I think what we got into earlier was the issue of people (many times church people) who feign friendship for the hidden agenda of Christ-conversion. Corporate church programs for the purpose of sinner-conversion can come across as superficial and, in many instances, a safeguard from real intimate relationship with a not-always-clean world.This guy with the bar has no hidden agendas. He’s saying, “Come if you’re interested in having a talk about these things”. I think that’s cool.I agree with you. As the Holy Spirit guides, there are times we have to be bold enough to speak out. But, many times we can do more harm than good. Those times, people may just need a friend.This whole friendship with sinners thing is difficult for church-people like me because it may mean having to step out of our comfort zones.For me it all boils down to the fact that there are non-christ-followers everywhere. They’re in bars. They’re in churches. They’re at work. They’re in the gutters. They’re everywhere. It’s not really an issue of where we find them or if they find us. The question is, are we confident enough in our faith to trust God and truly befriend them… take an interest in their lives… maybe even learn a thing or two from them?If we’re hung up on if they’re in the bar or not in the bar, we’re still hung up on buildings (except these have neon signs instead of stained glass).After this weekend of blog-arguing, I made time in my day to spend some time with some of the guys I work with (the guys I never see, because they’re always on the road). I just sat & shot the poopie with them. It was pretty fun! I wasn’t trying to convert them. We just talked about stuff we had in common. For me, it put feet to some of the things we discussed here… and I think I grew as a result.No. I can’t just walk up and be their best buddie tomorrow and hope they ask me about Jesus on Wednesday. I’m not really thinking about that. I’m just getting to know them a little better. They’re great guys! (One guys getting me a Fau-lex from NY next weekend…cool!) As a result, I am realizing how closed off I’ve been, because of “my faith”. (The more I do this, the more of a hypocrite I’m seeing that I have been…ugh!)I love that scripture, though. It reinforces one aspect of the call of ministry that Jesus so aptly and vigorously represented.later sonofmanypreachers.Sincerely,sonofaninsuranceman&hiswife&brotherofdorseywhohaslotsofpostsonhisblog

  3. Can you hear the sermon? <>“Before I get into he heart of my message, I’d like to order a couple of pitchers of Miller Lite draft…”“…so anyway, Jesus was walking on the water, oh could someone pass the beer nuts? Thanks… now, Jesus was walking on the water when Peter…”<>Steve, I think I emailed you about our Saturday night service I’m a part of at a friend’s church. It’s designed to reach the college crowd. I’m thinking that maybe we need to relocate it from the “old-sanctuary redesigned as a coffee house” to that bar I used to play bass at, across from the college.<>“…before we leave, I’d like to close in meaningful song. Join me as we sing the 1st, 3rd & 4th verses of “Cheeseburger in Paradise”.<>

  4. I don’t think it’s so much a struggle with faith as it is with hypocrisy, authenticity and the like.All I want is something real. And my hope is that in the process of finding it, I become more authentic myself.I don’t hate my church. But, I can see where it’s held me back. It’s outlined my life for me to the point where I do not have very many “non-Christian” friends… none I would call close (See, I told you you were good…)Oh well. I’ll keep asking questions. Unlike many of the bloggers I read, I am not set in my ways, so to speak. I’m willing to question everything in my life. It’s just hard when, instead of attempting to help, bloggers like yourself reply accusatorily (is that even a word?). Of course, how would you know what I’m dealing with? I’m accusing right back!See? I told you I didn’t have this all figured out. (I was much happier when I thought I knew it all…)

  5. I want to thank all of you for your comments. I am the Rev. Rick Mason of the original Montgomery (AL) newspaper article. I have gained some insights into how to continue to approach “Theology on Tap” from what many of you have said. Believe it or not, one of the questions that is troubling me today is how do we, as Christians, define “the lost”? I think the answer to that question may go a long way toward determining how we approach faith & evangelism. Just a note on the initial gatherings at the Pratt Pub. We are very excited about the folks who have been taking part. There have been people from both inside & outside of the church who have serious questions about the church & faith. We have had everything from totally unchurched to devout Episcopalians & Calvinists to a recent convert to Hinduism, who commented that after 14 years in Prattville it is wonderful to finally have a place where she can talk about her faith without the fear of being put down. This is a work-in-progress (as is the faith life itself), so please remember us in your prayers. And thanks again!

  6. I’d love to get a copy of that sermon. My church is very much into engaging with unchurched in non-“religious” settings, entering into friendships with people and enfolding them into our community wherever they are at. We haven’t done anything like what is described here but it sounds like a great idea and we sure have a lot of places around here that would serve for such an activity.

  7. See I knew this would be fun….I think the difference is “planning” the opportunity to share my faith or just being “available” to the relationships we formulate throughout our lives.Let me explain a bit… in the old days in Texas we used to have “visitation night” at my church. We would actually go and talk with people that had visited our church or “cold call” on houses in the neighborhood to “share the gospel”. Man was that always weird. I hated it. As a teenager, I went to “discipleship” events where one of the excercises was going “door to door witnessing” and three or four of us would descend on a house to enlighten the inhabitants. It usually met with resistance and lots of “no thank you’s” and the occasional slammed door preceeded by plenty of expletives.Now, part of the training was in knowing that we were doing “what God called us to do”, going out into the highways and hedges sharing our faith with the poor lost world. The whole experience was to make us feel good about our faith and to strengthen us, and to feel sorry for the poor soul going to hell that rejected us.If you have ever had a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon come to your door, you know the feeling. They think we need “saving” so they “visit” and we think, “Man are they wasting their time!”Why don’t we see our efforts today, however relevant or “cutting edge” they may be in the same light?I think this pastor has part of the equation correct. I believe it is “wrong” at some level for us to believe that the way to get our friends to consider a life in Christ is to get their butts to come and sit in the church service. His attitude is, “I will go where they are.” And that is a good step in the right direction.However, I think it is important to not see these people he encounters at the pub as a “means to an end.”I have a friend that I have had an ongoing relationship with for over 5 years now. He doesn’t belong to any church, hasn’t attended in years, would describe himself as a believer in God but nothing else of “religion” interests him. He knows my life, my background, he knows about this website and yet even knowing all that he is still my friend. He’s asked me about God, and we talk about all of it from time to time. But most of the time we are just two guys, hanging out, having margaritas or sodas and sharing our lives. I learn much from him about this life of ours. The “means” is genuine friendship and the “end” for me is being there for each other in all of life’s situations.I just don’t think you can “program” evangelism…. whether it is door-to-door witnessing or open question night at the local bar.

  8. Oh… and I think that whole bar thing is pretty cool too! (Isn’t that what this post was all about to begin with?)I think the Pastor in the bar is cool because his “agenda” isn’t hidden. Its out in the open. People who attend know what they’re getting into. And he sounds pretty genuine.(this is my attempt to return this thread from it’s hijacked state)peace

  9. Wow… the original post was quite provocative; seemingly on the cusp of something worthwhile. Yet the chain of comments leaves me to sigh, and think there’s many rivers yet to cross…To the point of the original post, I was put in remembrance of a passage from Luke 15:4 (KJV), “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”I think that is what was being suggested. However, dare I say it, what happens when we discover the “lost one” may not be in bar as supposed, then what?Well, in my read of the scriptures, the answer is to keep looking until the lost are found. That is far different from waiting around for the lost to find their way to us…

  10. <>“Did I say “religion”??”<>sorry, i was intentionally trying to take a stab at you to see if you would flinch.<>“Believe it or not, eddie, not every person is like you…”<>i never said they were… but, i’m always surprised to see how many are.just out of curiosity, and i’m not trying to be facetious here, how many of your <>CLOSE<> friends would you say are <>NOT<> christians?<>“If my actions can survive your questions, then they’re worthy of pursuing. So dish it out, because I can take it.”<>the way i see it, there are no answers, only choices.<>“I’ve been in church my whole life, and I’m now wondering if it was all a waste.“<>if you take away the church, your praise songs, your programs, your sunday school, your small groups, your bible studies, hell if you even take away the bible…. what do you have left?<>“I love God. I love my friends. And I want to spend eternity with them all in heaven (whatever that may be). Beyond that, I really don’t know.”<>Jesus may have died to give us eternal life, but He also lived to teach us how to live our life today. spreading the “good news” <>WASN’T<> the only thing that Jesus called those who would follow him to do.in all honesty jeff, i really am sorry to hear that you are struggling in your faith. it’s a place i wouldn’t wish anyone to be and that’s the truth. if i’ve caused you to have a lot to think about, it’s only because i am there myself.sincerely,eddie

  11. Eddie,When you said, “typically,i would still be leary about any kind of “outreach” to the “unchurched” even if it is in a bar…” could you elaborate on that? Are you leary of the bar part or the reaching the unchurched part? I don’t want to misunderstand you, and I hope you didn’t mean it the way I read it. Thanks.Peace.

  12. <>“I hear a lot of Christians saying that they want to be real… with out hidden agendas… and this is their excuse to do nothing. This is the danger in your argument.”<>serving your community out of humility and love and with no other agenda than the fact they are God’s children too is doing nothing?<>“I read lots of blogs where people are so afraid that the “world” might feel as if we’re selling them something. And they use that same “greasy car salesman” argument. But a good salesman will first find out what the need of his prospect is, and attempt to lead that prospect to an effective conclusion… LEAD, not sell.”<>i know you may find this hard to believe, but not everyone is looking to buy a car and likewise, not everyone wants what you think they need.<>“Unfortunately for many of us, we’ve been sold the bill of goods that boldness is being an idiot for Christ, and that is simply not so.”<>last i checked, PEOPLE came looking for Jesus and not the other way around. He could have been bold about who he was but He chose not to.<>“This is right on! But if we’re going to truly have faith in this gospel, we must also have enough faith to be willing to leverage our own lives and reputations for Hid glory, as we take a “step of faith”, boldly proclaiming the Word of God to those to whom we are led, those who probably won’t inquire.”<>what makes you so sure they won’t inquire? did God Himself tell you this? it’s obvious to me that you most likely have never fallen out of faith before or completely reject God as an adult? do you really think i’m just talking out of my ass here? forgive me, but i’ve been sharing a personal experience. all my life i’ve had christians like you blah, blah, blah their faith on me especially when i didn’t ask or want to hear it and all it made me want to do is say fuck you and fuck your god. you can believe whatever you want but there was a day that i did eventually do what you would cosider improbable…. i inquired. imagine that?most christians i know do a whole lot of “bold proclaiming” but i rarely see any of them do anything else.but hey, what do i know….eddie

  13. As a “churched” person right now, I’m wishing I lived in Prattville so I could go and ask a few hard questions myself. I’d gladly exchange “church” for what Christ was really after…community with the broken, the hurting and the sick. (That’s all of us btw – “church” people just seem to forget that – or at least like to pretend it isn’t them.).

  14. Eddie,I see what you’re saying, but I’m not so sure I totally agree.I hear a lot of Christians saying that they want to be real… with out hidden agendas… and this is their excuse to do nothing. This is the danger in your argument.When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, he had an agenda. They didn’t ask him for his opinion. But he gave it. And 3000 people came to follow Christ that day.Jesus didn’t say “Go ye into all the world and preach, but only when asked…”. He just said “go”.I read lots of blogs where people are so afraid that the “world” might feel as if we’re selling them something. And they use that same “greasy car salesman” argument. But a good salesman will first find out what the need of his prospect is, and attempt to lead that prospect to an effective conclusion… LEAD, not sell.Unfortunately for many of us, we’ve been sold the bill of goods that boldness is being an idiot for Christ, and that is simply not so.But Acts 4:13 says, “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they took notice ot them, <>that they had been with Jesus<>“.Your argument seems to convey the point that a Christian with an “agenda” is not authentic. (forgive me if I’m putting words in your mouth). But I do not agree with that assertion.I am a Christ-follower… a Christian. I love Jesus! For me NOT to talk to my “unsaved” friends about Jesus is inauthentic. We’re Christians. We have to be who we are.You say, <>“if christians would just have a little faith, trust in God, be who they pretend to be, wash peoples feet and humbly serve their community as Jesus did and taught while he was alive…. people outside the walls of the church just might stop, take notice, stare and wonder why these people are the way they are just as they did with Jesus.”<> This is right on! But if we’re going to truly have faith in this gospel, we must also have enough faith to be willing to leverage our own lives and reputations for Hid glory, as we take a “step of faith”, boldly proclaiming the Word of God to those to whom we are led, those who probably won’t inquire.Sorry if I came off “preachy” but I really believe this, and I pray that someday I’ll be brave enough to live this way.

  15. Somebody mentioned something about Peter preaching, and I chuckled. The first thing that came to mind is, how was it that Peter was allowed to preach? He had no degree, no seminary diploma, and no ordination (by an officially certified religious body). He wouldn’t be given a second glance in today’s institutions. He is clearly not qualified.

  16. <>you should continue to be the proud christian that you are and tell everyone about your religion every opportunity you get. it is after all, who you are.<>Did I say “religion”??<>“it’s the kind of seeds that christian like you plant that keep so many people like me away from the church. but, you don’t have to take my word for it.”<>Believe it or not, eddie, not every person is like you…<>“really? kind of sounds to me like you’ve got all the answers.”<>If I thought I had all the answers, do you really think I would be subjecting myself to people like you?<>“for the record, i think there is a distinct difference between sharing your faith with a friend and making friends in order to share your faith.”<>I agree with this completely. For the last 3 years, I’ve had a serious crisis of faith… questioning God and everything about Him. My conclusion was that anything that could survive the questions was worth believing.But now, I’m having a crisis of works (for lack of a better word). That’s why I blog where I do. If my actions can survive your questions, then they’re worthy of pursuing. So dish it out, because I can take it.I’m not sure what survived here. But I do know that you’ve given me a lot to think about.You see, all the things I’ve spoken of here are theories. I rarely act on them, because I don’t know what’s right. You say that I think I have it all figured out, and I can understand why you make that comment. But if you knew me beyond these couple of posts, you’d see the depth of my struggle with authenticity.I’ve been in church my whole life, and I’m now wondering if it was all a waste.I love God. I love my friends. And I want to spend eternity with them all in heaven (whatever that may be). Beyond that, I really don’t know.And I don’t think you helped much either.Blogging sucks!

  17. <>“accusatorily” would have been better translated, “with an accusing tone”.<>maybe i missed something, but “accusing tone” as in my tone suggested i was accusing you of something? if so, what exactly would you say i was accusing you of?

  18. “accusatorily” would have been better translated, “with an accusing tone”. Sorry. I misplaced my lexicon and my thick skin, apparently… 🙂

  19. Jeff,I really appreciate your posts…I love ‘Spirited’ debate, especially if it means people at some point sit down and reason together…Sounds like you had a very good day today–simply relating to those around you. Sometimes, that’s all we need to do. God help me to do that more.You wrote: ‘The question is, are we confident enough in our faith to trust God and truly befriend them… take an interest in their lives… maybe even learn a thing or two from them?’Wow. This reminded me of how ALL of my friends back at my high-school were non-Christians. They became a separate family to me–we were just that close. And through our friendships, a lot of things rubbed off and onto each of us. These were, and still are, my brothers, my friends.And yet, also when growing up, there were so many guys in my local church who, according to the protocol of the church, I had to call “Brother X” or “Brother Y”, etc. And yet there was no relationship, “no relating”, no REAL fellowship. I called them brother, but it was either a faith statement or a bold lie… (as is so much of what we do and believe in the church today).I realized back then, that I shouldn’t approach friendship with an agenda of “saving their souls”. In reality, the righteous will scarcely be saved. We each have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. I think we should make ourselves available as vessels for His use, and at the same time realize that no one comes to the Father, except the Father draw them. He does the drawing; He does the drawing…Further, I stand amazed at how much I have learned about my relationship with the Lord through the lives of non-believers. Just amazed. God used so many of them to keep me on the right track with Him–many times by them speaking Kindom principles into my life without a bible or their belief in it.So often we want to “preach to the sinners” and “save the world”, but it is we who need such preaching and saving…

  20. On the occasional Sunday night, Pastor throws open the song service and asks the congregation to suggest favorite hymns or choruses. Sunday evening being a generally older crowd, someone invariably selects “I’ll Say ‘Yes, Lord, Yes,” or the hymn that goes “”I’ll go where You want me to go, dear Lord…”While I’m certain this isn’t what they had in mind, I think it’s awesome. I often assert that, if Jesus were to come to my town, area churches would likely be the last place He would come (except with a whip). He would go to the corner bar. He would go to the projects. He would go stand on the drug corners that church people won’t even drive past. He would hang out downtown with the hookers and the junkies (Now let’s hear from some SmartChurchPeople about how a stoned person cannot understand the four spiritual laws until he’s of sound mind).I recently read a story about two surfer dudes in Pacific Beach who started a congregation in a bar. Hey, I’d go there in a heartbeat.

  21. Well, I’m not Eddie, but I can tell you why I have the same leariness that he does. “outreach” to the “unchurched” frequently means (by those who use the phrase) “I know the answers and I have decided to condenscend to share them with you.” Well, that’s maybe too harsh. How about “I know the answers and through the power of the Holy Spirit I feel moved to share them with you.” It’s not the motivation for “saving” that is the problem, it’s the “I know the answers” part.The alternative to this appoach is one that (thankfully) is very common in the blogsphere. It is “I don’t know the answers. I will never know the answers, but I seek them nonetheless, and I have faith that that is a reasonable thing to do. I have found the search for answers to be central to my life, and if you are interested, you and I could have a conversation about how that works.”That sounds pretty UU. I am personally more dogmatic than that, but I do not believe that just because my dogma is useful in orienting my life that it will be useful to everyone. I believe that there are as many paths to God as there are people. I find the reports of Jesus teaching contained in the New Testament the absolutely best single resource for me on my faith journey, but it is sure not the only resource, and is does not follow that there aren’t better resources for other people. Does this mean that I think that truth is relative? No. It just means that I think that one should not confuse the finger pointing toward the moon with the moon itself. The fact that there are many ways in which to direct attention to the moon in no way affects what the moon really is, and it is the same with God (only about a zillion times more so).So it all depends on what Mason thinks he is doing. If he thinks that he is sharing answers with those unfortunates who don’t already have them themselves, I don’t think that he’ll have much luck. If he thinks that he may move closer to God by going into a bar and in the spirit of love earnestly seeking God in the people he finds there, I imagine that he will succeed beyond his wildest dreams.

  22. Luke 15:6 (KJV) “And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”Amen.

  23. hey steve, i heard about this guy on NPR sometime ago. typically, i would still be leary about any kind of “outreach” to the “unchurched” even if it is in a bar, but i think the path that brought rick mason to this place gives him some credibility. i truly believe that you can’t lead someone to a place that you yourself have not been to and it sounds like he’s been there.i’m glad you were able to find this guys story in print/online and share it with others.eddie

  24. Eddie, <>“all my life i’ve had christians like you blah, blah, blah their faith on me especially when i didn’t ask or want to hear it and all it made me want to do is say fuck you and fuck your god.”<>Christians like me?!? What are you talking about? You’ve summed me up by one post? Damn. You’re good. Seriously though, I’m struggling with this right now. I really don’t know what is too much or enough… I REALLY DON’T KNOW!!!You’re right, though. I’ve never rejected God as an adult. I don’t feel that is a prerequisite to be an effective Christ-follower.My whole point, which I think you missed, is that I don’t have to sit around waiting for someone to inquire, before I bring up Jesus. For me, that would be inauthentic. I am a Christian. Jesus is a part of my life, and I’m not ashamed of Him. Do I need to use discernment and wisdom? Absolutely! But I’m not going to fear mentioning God because someone might not like it. I cannot truly and authentically create relationships with those who are far from God if I cannot be myself. That would be a reverse form of hypocrisy.You said that we should share our faith, <>when asked, and only when asked<>. It doesn’t always work that way.So what if I share Christ’s love and you tell me to fuck off? Christ’s love is more powerful than your anger or resentment toward me.And the seed is still planted. It’s in there. There’s nothing wrong with trusting God that way, because He is bigger than hurts, hate or anything else. That’s all I am saying.I don’t have any answers here. And I apologize if my questioning you pissed you off, (which apparently it did). I’m trying to figure this out too. But don’t crucify me because I’m optimistic or whatever I’m being accused of here.Sorry if I’m not scarred or jaded enough to share your angst. I guess I’m just naive like that.So go ahead and tear this post apart. I know it’s not scp/blog-shic like your response, but it’s where I am. And that’s all I have to give…

  25. Oops… got so wrapped up in the Peter preaching thing, I forgot to leave my real comment. I think the body of Christ is a good thing no matter where it gathers. I do agree with those who implied that the “agendas” need to be left at the building with a steeple on top… except for the agenda that Christ had… to share the love of the Father, and introduce people to the Kingdom of God.

  26. Removing the legalism from church, church meetings, and church people is what Jesus was all about. Rover, beer is not bad in itself. It is the <>excessive use<> of it that causes problems. The same could be said of food (ever eat to excess at a “fellowship?”), work, playing golf, you name it… My home church has been meeting since 1991. 14 years. I drink beer, and so do some of the guys I meet with. But beer is not the focus, Jesus is. And no, we don’t drink beer during service, although, I wouldn’t get all anal if someone did….we have our service at 10:00 am Sunday, and for most people we meet with, that’s not the time to start drinking. Here’s the thing, though: I meet with 2 other men three or four days a week. We all drink beer, (not when we meet) and we all have close walks with God. So far beer has not been the loaded gun that turned us into prodigal sons. I doubt that it will, because neither of us uses it to excess, and if one of us started to, the others would be there to help restore him. I hope your comments were facetious. Looking at your blog, I can’t tell if you were or not. But please don’t get legalistic with my choice to have a beer now and then. I don’t think Jesus would have an objection….but the Pharisees did.I’ve got some posts on my blog regarding home church.

  27. hi jeff,<>“I’ve never rejected God as an adult. I don’t feel that is a prerequisite to be an effective Christ-follower.”<>who said anything about rejecting God was a prerequisite to being an effective follower of Christ?<>My whole point, which I think you missed, is that I don’t have to sit around waiting for someone to inquire, before I bring up Jesus. For me, that would be inauthentic. I am a Christian. Jesus is a part of my life, and I’m not ashamed of Him. Do I need to use discernment and wisdom? Absolutely! But I’m not going to fear mentioning God because someone might not like it. I cannot truly and authentically create relationships with those who are far from God if I cannot be myself. That would be a reverse form of hypocrisy.<>no, i’m quite sure i got your point just fine but i’m afraid you seemed to have missed my point entirely. no matter, you’re absolutely right. you should continue to be the proud christian that you are and tell everyone about your religion every opportunity you get. it is after all, who you are.<>So what if I share Christ’s love and you tell me to fuck off? Christ’s love is more powerful than your anger or resentment toward me. And the seed is still planted. It’s in there.<>if your religion is what motivates you to tell people like me about what you believe even if i don’t want to hear it, what makes you think any resentment a guy like me might have would be limited to you? believe me, you really aren’t that special. whether you want to believe it or not, it’s the kind of seeds that christian like you plant that keep so many people like me away from the church. but, you don’t have to take my word for it.<>I don’t have any answers here. And I apologize if my questioning you pissed you off, (which apparently it did). I’m trying to figure this out too. But don’t crucify me because I’m optimistic or whatever I’m being accused of here.<>really? kind of sounds to me like you’ve got all the answers.<>Sorry if I’m not scarred or jaded enough to share your angst. I guess I’m just naive like that.<>yes, i may be scarred and jaded but i would never want anyone to share my angst and that’s the truth.have a good evening,eddie

  28. BEER IS… Beer is a horrible drug. It kills people and causes bad breath. Beer is the demon’s seed, and turns one into devil trees.Beer is the last straw, and wastes your cash, ie, it sucks bucks, ducks.Beer is bad for the glands. Beer causes deformity. Beer is a runaway pet. Beer is a change of plans. Beer is an obsticle. Beer is a tightrope without a safety net.Beer is misleading. Makes one think fat girls are hotties. And turns dumb chicks snotty. Beer is a loaded gun. And most of all:Beer is bad for Christians…Turning church nerds into prodical sons!

  29. one last thought,i just wanted to make sure it was clear that my original comment(s) were made based on the article steve had originally posted… the one in regards to “reaching” the “unchurched”.for the record, i think there is a distinct difference between sharing your faith with a friend and making friends in order to share your faith.eddie

  30. Eddie… we can go where this takes us for a moment. Please expound on your comment… <>i would still be leary about any kind of “outreach” to the “unchurched” even if it is in a bar<>Most Christians (Evangelical ones to be exact) assume that this is what the church is to be about…. “seeking and saving” the lost.

  31. sorry, allow me to clarify myself here, i love bars, i love beer and i certianly love wine but i am very leary of christians especially ones who say they want to “reach” the unchurched.steve, you are right, most christians do assume that “seeking and saving” the lost is what church is all about… and maybe it is for them. but, when you’re an unbeliever like i had been for the better part of my life and someone who continues to struggle with his faith today, ALL we see are people with an <>AGENDA<> to “seek and save” our souls. and, let’s be honest here for a moment, that <>IS<> their sincere agenda. it’s not to get to know you for who you are or to be a sincere and genuine friend, the only reason they get to know you and/or spend any time with you is so that they can sell you on what they believe. hell, even greasy used car salesmen will take the time to get to know you and become your friend if they thinks they can sell you a car.in my humble opinion, God saves souls and not people who call themselves christians. the way i see it, if christians would just have a little faith, trust in God, be who they pretend to be, wash peoples feet and humbly serve their community as Jesus did and taught while he was alive…. people outside the walls of the church just might stop, take notice, stare and wonder why these people are the way they are just as they did with Jesus. when asked, and only when asked, you as a christian should be prepared to share <>YOUR<> story.but hey, what do i know…eddie

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