Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Home and Away, Again

We just returned from a lovely overnight stay in Door County. Trying desperately to utilize every minute of our time without children, we planned this 24 hour trip in about as much time! We stayed at the Brittania Bed and Breakfast in Algoma. This is actually where we honeymooned, but it was under a different name and different owners. It was fun to go back. We passed the restaurant where I was served raw (yes, I said raw, not just undercooked) chicken cordon blue and it was closed. Our hosts said they had gotten food poisoning from the same eatery, so it's a good thing they are out of business!

We had the most interesting breakfast companions Tuesday morning. We all gathered to eat in the B&B's dining room and started introducing ourselves and telling a bit about our lives. Their were 2 other couples, probably about our parent's age, and between the 4 of them, all college professors! We had a man who taught ancient languages, including Greek and Hebrew and Sanskrit, his wife (who monopolized all the conversation) taught some sort of history, including religious history, and the other couple taught education training and philosophy. After we discovered the similar professions, it started a very involved discussion into religion and philosophy and students and the apparent influx of children who are more conservative than their parents and are searching for a real religion. Dan and I sat, dumbfounded. Especially after one woman commented on "fundamentalists who can't open their mind at all."

So I ask you, what would you have said? We politely listened and at one point mentioned to the guests that we were Bible College graduates, highly involved in our church, and quite familiar with a "fundamentalist" upbringing. All of a sudden, the tune changed. The one lady who who made the fundamentalist comment started back peddling and saying things like, "Oh, we are highly spiritual, we just don't go to church. We draw from Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism. In fact, I think spirituality is important, it's all about community." It was almost comical to see how she changed her mind so quickly.

Now, keep in mind that these are strangers to us. We shared a short breakfast with them, and that is all. We don't know them or have a relationship with them. What should we have said? We excused ourselves shortly thereafter to enjoy the waters of Green Bay with our boat while we had the chance and we wondered what the conversation was like after we left. Did they regret saying such hateful and stereotypical things about Christians? Or did they laugh at our naivety for adhering to such a silly belief system?

Who knows, but to be honest, I don't think we were the ones guilty of being close-minded yesterday morning.


Tina said...

They cannot see the truth unless God opens their eyes. It is foolishness to the world to consider Christianity. They can be nothing but close-minded without the truth of the gospel penetrating their hearts.

We can do nothing but give them the gospel and revel in the fact that it is only by the grace of God that I am what I am. Without God's grace, that could have been any one of us sharing our opinions, blinded to the truth yet searching for something.

It becomes an opportunity to pray for the lost and praise God for His salvation! The mission field is everywhere!
Titus 3:1-10 is a great reminder!

Anonymous said...

Tina said it well. I work at Purdue University...VERY LIBERAL, but although I'm not agreed with on my views, HOPEFULLY, they can see that I am a person, who has a different outlook and joy that they cannot explain. While they are going about looking for answers in their findings...we have all we need. It's sad actually, they get disappointed when they are not given more money by the government to discover more about the meaning of life and I am delighted by it...maybe they can realize that it's outside of research that God is waiting for them. Thank you for posting!

Name: Karen said...

I was thinking the exact same thing as Tina. It's b/c of God's mercy and grace that our blinders have been removed!

"No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day" John 6:44

I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

Romans 9:15-18

I think of what a great opportunity you guys had to share your faith. He has shown you and Dan His mercy and all you can do is take that mercy and share it with the heart of the person who cannot understand b/c they have not been called.

It is eye opening to me, since you large in part hear of college professors being firm in a 'stance' and not backing down on their "belief" system, to hear that they back peddled and floundered after hearing of your faith in Christ. Yes, pray for the lost--that is what we are obligated to do, thats what our desire should be.

Thanks for the post and the reminder, Donette!


mitchells2000 said...

Very interesting! It's funny to me that other people are so "open-minded" about everything EXCEPT Christianity! I mean, don't they say all the time that we should be accepting and tolerant of EVERYTHING? Yet they won't tolerate Christians! The Bible says that TRUTH will offend them... let's just live our lives in such a way that the TRUTH [JESUS CHRIST] showing through us is what offends them, not our "close-minded" words and actions. I agree with all the other comments... thank the Lord that He has shown us the glorious light of the Gospel of TRUTH!

Gretchen said...

Nett -- hey, we went to Door County for our honeymoon, too! But we haven't been back. . .

uuuuuummmmm . . . I have sad news. I will not be attending the NA conference. :( My sister is having her Grad open house this weekend (Sunday) and Josh is speaking at her Senior Banquet (Friday), so we are going to Illinois for the weekend. I am so sad to be missing it, and missing all that time to hang out with you girls.

HOWEVER! I will be back Monday, I would LOVE to see you, even if it just for coffee real quick. I will probably be able to get away from work anytime. PLEASE let me know what your schedule is, to that I can try to get together with you!

And you'll have to blog about the conference for SURE!

So jealous . . .

Anonymous said...

We stayed at a B&B in Door County for our honeymoon too. After one breakfast with strangers, my hubby decided that was enough. We went out for breakfast after that.

Donette said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I know that only God can open their eyes, but I also understand that God uses means. I guess my question is about what our responsibility is to share the whole gospel when we don't even know these people. Should we have interrupted the conversation and stated our beliefs emphatically with open Bibles? Or is ok to sit and listen quietly, only sharing when asked? I wouldn't have felt comfortable blasting them with our belief system anymore than they were doing the same to us, but is my uncomfortableness (?) sin?

These are the things we discussed after we left. In my old days, I would have thought we should have started preaching right there on the spot. But now I don't know if that is the best way to share. Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, I appreciate you input and would love to hear more of what you think!

Donette said...

By the way, g-knee, 2 of the proffessors got their PHD's at Purdue and when they mentioned that they lived there for a time and that their son still attended there, I mentioned that we knew you worked there! I just about mentioned your church and the NANC conference, but the conversation drifted to another topic before I could. And maybe that was better? Who knows . . .