- I love Beer
- Beer opens doors
- Beer leads to God
So, they are all a tad controversial, huh? Well, they are also true. Maybe.
After working in Africa for 20 months, I have found that what is true in my homeland is even more true here. There is a huge canyon between sacred and secular. People dichotomize life so drastically. Right, wrong. Black, white. Holy, unholy. Church, life. God, me. Sin, purity. God is at church on Sundays. My Monday through Friday has nothing to do with God. He only plays on Sundays. My life and sin are a separate departments than my spirit and faith.
So, what does this have to do with beer?
Well, there is loads of alcohol use an abuse in the community we serve in. But, almost every local African I meet thinks that beer separates man from God. God evidently hates beer. And drinking. So, we must hide it from him. And we can certainly not talk about God while drinking. We must first hide or dispose of the beer and then we can discuss God. Or we can talk about God tomorrow with a coke. But, God and beer do not mix.
What is my point?
Here's the deal...this is legalism. And it is anti-gospel thinking. The very nature of Jesus is that he comes among us, loves us where we are, and invites him to join him as we are. Then, his spirit works in us for his good purposes.
I thank God for beer. Beer is a topic I can bring up every time to start spiritual relationships by shattering religious spirits, crappy legalism and bad theology. Stop hiding your beer. Bring your beer to church. Bring some to share for goodness sake. And let's experience the radical nature of the lavish love of God....yes, even for sinners. And then let's journey with Jesus from there.
Helping someone see that God loves them right now, with or without beer....with or without addiction....is the first step to teaching good theology to a future disciple.
Beer...a new evangelism tool. ;-)