Monday, January 22, 2007

Masochists

I recently started a Bible study that will meet weekly at my parents house. It's been going great. We have a good turn out and people seem to be responding well to the material. I'm learning a lot in the process, which is one of the main reasons I like to lead Bible studies.

There is an interesting thing that happens every time I start a Bible study. There are certain people I pray for and personally invite, who never attend. In fact, they avoid it like the plague.

Now you need to know I am fully aware of the possibility that I suck as a teacher, and that's why they don't come. However, I don't think that is relevant to this topic. Usually, those I am referring to here are people who have never attended my Bible studies, so I don't think they avoid them for that reason. I also don't believe that, if they come to my Bible study, God will reveal Himself to them, their lives will change, and we will all walk into the sunset hand in hand.

I'm also not talking about people who come off and on. Life gets complicated, there's Sunday football games, or season premiere of 24 (yessssss!).

Specifically, these are people I know, who have opened up to me about problems in their lives. They are hurting. They are crying out for help. Their lives are unravelling. Some have literally told me, "Mark... I need God. I need help."

Mention a Bible study, and they react one of 3 ways:

(Eyebrows high in the air, make sure to smirk ever so slyly) "Well... I'll ummm, see if I can make it. Thanks for the invite, 'k?

(No direct eye contact) "Sure. I'll be there. Thanks."

(After reading an email invite) ....cricket...cricket...cricket...

I don't get upset about it. It just bothers me that the Bible is so right, all the time.

Proverbs 26
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Someone asked me once why I believe the Bible. There are many reasons why I believe it. But at that moment, my answer was "because we humans prove it right every time by our thoughts and actions".

It saddens me how trite; how small we are. It saddens me that we would cry for help, and continue making excuses for running from God, the One individual who can give us the answers to our problems. It saddens me even more that the number of people in the world who respond in this way to Him is staggering.

I can only conclude that they are content in their misery. They are comfortable in their stupor. They feel safe in their own vomit.

Exposing oneself to truth can be painful. It's exactly that; exposure.

A few years ago, I gave up trying to "lead people to Christ". I didn't give up one people, or on sharing what God has done in my life. I just don't actively go out there being a cheerleader for God. I think God does it in His own time. I think people respond to God when He makes Himself present to them; when they are ready to listen to Him on His terms, not theirs.

I guess I'll do what Cesar (one of my friends) said to me at last nights Bible study, "Pray for them. Pray for them."

That's all I can do.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please do pray for us my friend. If I can't make it there this Sunday, then I'll think on some level I'm avoiding rather than having life sneak up on me as it has seemed to. That way, you won't think too much of it if I don't make it Super Bowl Sunday...!

Maybe more people would come, if say, you offered them "50 cents"

Marquito said...

First, we're not meeting on Superbowl Sunday.

Second, you're lucky I didn't say anything about people who say, "Hey... I read the book."

Berkeley Rican said...

that post is flirting with salabarriaish manipulation. i don't think you meant it that way way, but if you boil down the post it does reduce to if they really wanted to they would come, if they tried harder they would come, if they...theythey would. salvation is by God's sheer grace and this next statement is a tough reformed pill to swallow: sanctification is also by God's sheer grace...there are many psychosocial factors that prevent someone from going to a Bible study (i thought you were emergent? what are you doing having a Bible study anyways?) but unless God is at work in truly changing us, transforming our inwards then we will never be able to die to sin and live for righteousness.

Marquito said...

Just to show you that no decent comment will go un-posted, even if it does pose a challenge.

Yes west coast Boricua, You are correct about sheer grace, and I agree 100%. I'm simply voicing my frustrations about human nature, psychosocial factors and all.

The people who brought this to my mind DO NOT read my blog (they don't even know I have a blog). So this wasn't a cheap shot, or a tool for manipulating anyone to come to my "community group" (better? How about "The Gathering"?).

I was just venting. It's one of those things about human nature that saddens me; how we cry out for help and ignore or refuse help to save our pride, or because "it's complicated". It's NOT complicated. If you don't want to go to a church or a bible study, fine. But do something to allow God to start making a change to occur in your life, before things get worse. Especially if you already acknowledged that help is needed.

Also, you might have missed this in my post:

"I think God does it in His own time. I think people respond to God when He makes Himself present to them; when they are ready to listen to Him on His terms, not theirs."

Another thing that bothers me is people who are sensitive about race issues, and percieved discrimination. GOD that pisses me off!

Berkeley Rican said...

go to church you smelly cuban from spanish descent sabbath breaker :)
the b.r.