Posted by: Timothy | March 7, 2010

The Right Way to Answer

It was the first weekend in August, a hot summer Saturday night in Texas. It was the type day that you did not mind having nothing to do, because it meant you could stay indoors in the air conditioning. But tonight, I looked forward to getting out as a friend had send me an email earlier in the week, A night of Praise and Worship was in the subject line along with the persons name, who was leading the evening. I had heard this person perform several years before, and enjoyed it, as he had an incredible testimony.

     I had been feeling a bit of a spiritual void, as it seemed outside of Sunday worship, spiritual activities were kind of slim. With that in mind, I send out an email to my singles group announcing this and made plans to go, looking forward to an evening of praising God with other believers.

     After meeting one other of the singles at church, and a short drive, we arrived in the rural Texas town at the Baptist church where the ‘concert’ was to be held. As in a lot of small towns one of the biggest buildings it seems is one of the churches. This town was no exception, as this church was in the middle of a building expansion project; it was definitely the largest and most modern building in the area. Gone are the days of rural American towns with little white churches.

     As we took our seats in what years ago would have been called the sanctuary, I could tell that it was more of an auditorium and multipurpose room more that anything else. It was the main room where church services took place, but seeing a design in the carpet that looked like the markings of a basketball court, and raised basketball goals at the end, told me much more went on in here besides worship services. Gone are the days it seems in a lot of churches, are the sanctuaries where we enter with reverence to worship our God.

     Several minutes prior to the evening officially starting I noticed a young couple and their four young boys take their seats in the section to the right of where I was sitting. The father and the young boys were similarly attired in nice jeans, and plaid short sleeved button down the front shirts. The wife and mother of the boys was modestly attired in an ankle length dress with her hair up I’m guessing in a bun type fashion.  I say I’m guessing about the bun because it was covered by a black head covering that covered the majority of her head and hung down to her neck.

     For those of you reading this, thinking this is another installment of “A Silent Witness”, reread the title and continue reading.

     Occasionally during the next two hours I found myself observing the family. The boys were as cute as could be, with the oldest one was probably six at the most and the youngest was probably two years old. More importantly, I wondered about their background. A Christian sister with a head covering in a Baptist church probably had not been seen in a long time. Where were they from? Did they attend a church somewhere close by? Was it possible that in the rural Fort Worth area was a group of believers that had similar beliefs as to the way I was raised? I determined in my heart that I would talk with them before leaving that evening.

     Following the closing prayer as people began to leave the auditorium, I went up to them, said hello and asked whether I could inquire of their background. I explained I was also raised in a church where the sisters wore head coverings and modest attire was the way everybody dressed. Or something close to that.

     The response that followed was one that gave me the greatest blessing that evening. It went something to the effect of; “It’s not so much about our background, but what the Bible says and our desire to be obedient to it”.

     It was not until several moments of conversation had passed after we had shared mutual information, that he told me they were originally from Pennsylvania and had a Mennonite background. He also shared that they live in the Sherman, Texas area and meet with 6-7 other families for church. It was also reiterated that modest attire was for both the men and women, along with the head covering for the women, as it was what the Bible taught.

     Think about his answer with me for a moment; “It’s not so much about our background, but what the Bible says and our desire to be obedient to it”. The answer was not about them, or a belief of their church. His answer quite simply, directed me back to the Bible, and more importantly, back to God and back to God’s instruction to us, and their desire to be obedient.

     How many times in our Christian witness and walk of life have we been asked why we believe something, or why we do or don’t do certain things? How have we answered it? Have you ever answered an inquiry with a “Well, my church…”? I have, and it is the wrong way to answer questions for the most part. You see, with out God there is no Bible, and with out God and the Bible, there is no church, or salvation for us.

     It’s all about God, and it’s all about us being obedient to his word. It’s my hope and prayer that the next time we are posed a question about something we do, or don’t do, or something we believe, that we can direct the questioner back to God and the Bible, and our desire to be obedient.

And that’s The Right Way to Answer!

By Timothy Stoller
      On August 5, 2006

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