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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Things that make you go HMMMMM...spiritually! (this is a post for adults)

Before you read this forewarned, this is not a light if you visit just for fun, be forewarned:)!

First, some background...I am a very Bible kind of gal! If it's in the Word, I feel very strongly about following it! I like things spelled out...I'm a black and white kind of person...a rule follower, a conviction get the picture. I do tend to not keep my mouth shut if my convictions are brought up in a conversation. I don't try to push my ways onto people, but I do come across rather strong, I think.

So, what has made me go hmmmm...a few things. Here in Russia, there are no movie how would you know to watch or not to watch without just word of mouth?(Movies that I watch are decided upon by a big conviction of mine)---okay, this is not my main bother right now...but just an example...the next one is the one that has me thinking...

Also, there are so many people that are "living" with someone...they may not be sleeping together(although most of them probably are), but they are living in the same room, not just same apartment, I said same room! Ok, so what would Jesus do? say? I find that my standards are being redefined...not changed, but the approach to talking about them might be changing in this Russian culture. Some of my friends and family--might even be smiling by now...thinking---well, it's about time??? I still feel a big big question mark with these thoughts of what should I do? say? but I have discovered something that I don't think I had a grasp on before. Jesus hung out with the sinners, right? But, did He say nothing to them about their sin? How did He talk with them? Did He just love them? Point out the sin? What???

My observation: with the religious people...He went straight to the issue of pride, sin and more!
With the sinners...He taught them about Himself, His Father and then said...I do not condemn you...go and sin no more!!! Whoa....He didn't condemn them...the sinners???? If Jesus did this, are we not expected to do the same? We aren't to condemn, but to point them to Jesus and God, the Father and the Holy Spirit and say...go and sin no more. So, the sin is not to be accepted but is not necessarily the focus??

Notice, the conversation with Jesus and the woman caught in adultery---was not about her sin, but the change He called her to...and the woman at the well---Jesus talked to her about a couple lines about her lifestyle, but mostly about living water and worship!!!

I does still drive me nuts that so many people are living together with no desire or thought of marriage...I thought it was common in America, but it goes beyond that here. But, with this driving me nuts, it is causing me to seek the Lord on His thoughts not mine!!

This makes me think of my Holland friend Laura!! So, Laura---your thoughts???
Mary??? Elizabeth??? Any of you??? If you feel that your thoughts are too long for a comment...just email me:)


Mary said...

Honestly, the first thing that popped in my mind is that there has been so much darkness for a very long time and the amount of light there was so small. That's why you are there to shine the light that is within you. Practically speaking, I do try to talk with Christian friends about sin issues when God pushes me but try to do it in a gentle, loving manner. "Let your gentlesness be evident to all." "Your kindness leads me to repentance." I haven't done that with non-Christian friends, at least I don't think I have. And God really pushes me hard because I resist all confrontation if at all possible.

perrinministries said...

It's the same here. It is difficult not to judge especially when some of them are looking to you for some sort of spiritual direction. We wait to give our opinion only when asked...or when led by the HS. We even had a girl in the youth group that lied to her parents and told them that she was spending the night with her boyfriend and she instead went to youth group....because that was more "acceptable" to her parents.

perrinministries said...

Jon wants you to know that there is a great book called "Peppermint Filled Pinatas" by Eric Bryant. It covers the real sex in the to work with different people with different mindsets. Also, the people that Jesus confronted were the self-righteous pharisees.

Nina in Portugal said...

Same here. Not necessarily about the living together, but the culture is different and we can't hold them to the same standard that we would hold other American's. Not that their standard needs to be lowered, but it's just different, ya know?!

Elizabeth said...

Two things.

1) I don't watch tv in Russia, but at home what's annoyed me is being bombarded with images that I wasn't expecting to see. I might choose a show carefully, but then in the ad break see something unpleasant. Unless you're watching an explicitly Christian movie, you can expect to see something that you won't agree with. That's why it might be better to watch something at home where you can fast-forward, rather than in the movie theater. I also think it's worth it to read reviews even if it gives away some of the plot...

Elizabeth said...

2) I think that the lack/high cost of housing does affect the whole "living together" thing.

One time I was living with a Russian lady, and a young single man moved into one of the rooms. I had to leave. To me it just wasn't worth the risk of something happening, and as long as I had the choice I really felt like I needed to look for another option. People often don't have options, though. Or it appears that they don't have options.

In some cases, the living situation leads to promiscuity. In other cases, the promiscuity leads to the living situation.

As others have said, it doesn't really help to say that something is sinful if the person doesn't believe in God in the first place. That may be premature. But they really do notice when you live differently. Young women in particular are interested in talking about romance, and sharing about your own experience is a way to be a witness without pointing a finger. Family structure is valued in Russia as much as elsewhere, and it's always an interesting conversation topic.