February 13, 2012

Burt Reynolds, The Crazy Cajun and a Christian Nation


I drove past one of my favorite restaurants of all time today. Actually, I drove past the plot of ground where it used to be. It’s not anywhere anymore. It closed down a couple of years ago and now the building has been torn down.

It was called The Crazy Cajun. They had the best crawfish etouffee I’ve ever had at any restaurant, but all the food was great. It looked like a dump from the outside. It had a tin roof, ratty old porch and looked like something you’d see in a swamp in Southern Louisiana. It was designed that way to look authentic.

When you walked in you’d see lots of pictures of movie stars like Robert Duvall and Burt Reynolds, country western singers like Dolly Parton and even a sports star like Hakeem Olajuwon who used to play basketball in the NBA for the Houston Rockets.

Now it’s all gone.

Did you notice how all the notable people were stars whose time has passed them by? Even the last time I ate there the same pictures were still there crooked and dusty.

Sometimes I feel like that’s how the Church is.

We’re holding on to how things used to be. The great Christians are dead or dying. The methods are worn out and dated.

The world has moved on and yet so many in the Church still think a picture of Burt Reynolds is going to impress.

To make it even worse we think the world is supposed to be the same. We try to pass laws to keep it that way. There was either a congressman or senator who tried to pass a bill that would declare that America was a Christian nation.

Just to clear the air, I don’t think that this nation is a Christian nation. Sure, we still hold to a predominately Judeo-Christian ethic, but we’re far from Christian.

I think it’s time the Church realized that we no longer dominate this nation’s thinking. We are a sub-culture that has been outflanked by the rest.

We’ve hammered the nail that is nothing but a set of rules dictating what is moral and what is not and hammered that point so often that the next nail we drive may be the last one in our own coffin.

These rules, born out of a love of God, have become twisted, ambiguous and dependent upon what denomination you belong to.

We’ve become the strong arm of the Lord to hold people to a performance based righteousness. Once, we were the tellers of Good News and now we are tellers of new rules.

There is a tattoo and bumper sticker I’ve seen over the years that says, “Only God can judge me.” The thought I’ve always had was, “Yeah, but He’s actually going to do that.”

It’s true though. Only God can judge people. He will, so we don’t need to. Preaching and speaking of the Bible in truth will tell people what is right and wrong. We don’t need to go out of our way to do that.

We need to once again be a people who are seen as being different not solely by what we don’t do, but by the spirit within us and what we do. That’s what gets people’s attention. Most people, when they truly believe, are moving toward God and not away from anything.

Things will surely be left behind, but that’s not the motivation, the motivation is Christ. Our faith is a beautiful thing. It’s peaceful, loving, caring and just. Unfortunately, that’s not what is heard by people who do not believe.

People are no longer in line with our way of thinking. Our way of thinking and relating our faith is only worn out pictures on a wall. We may get buried with the building if we’re not careful.

Let me know what you think. Agree? Disagree? Why?

Originally Published: February 13, 2012
Category: Culture
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