I was mopping when the owner of the daycare came by (we had never met; I'm employed by a cleaning company that contracts with the daycare). I was introduced to him by another worker as, "the preacher man." When I heard this, I purposely glanced behind myself as if to look for anyone else who could be a "preacher man." The owner then said not to be ashamed and to preach if God has called me to it (he does appear to be a Christian). I then said that all Christians should proclaim the gospel of Christ. He proceeded to give me a blank look. I could tell this conversation probably wasn't going to go anywhere profitable. He was beginning to think I'm an alien.
The daycare owner then asked if I'm Baptist, Methodist, etc. Sigh. I told him simply that I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. He responded, "Ahh. Non-denominational." Upon hearing that, I said that denominations can't be found anywhere in the bible. He gave me another blank look. This was further conformation to him that I'm an alien.
A couple minutes later has was talking with the worker who had introduced us. The owner was saying something about how having a lot of kids was too much work (ironic since he owns a daycare). Keep in mind that the other worker has five kids and I have three. When he pointed this out to the owner, the owner acted like we were both crazy. I guess he thinks even three kids are a lot these days. I responded to all this by saying that kids are a gift from the Lord. That statement went nowhere. Instead, the owner just looked at me. He was now convinced beyond a doubt that an alien is cleaning his daycare each night.
As I thought about this, I began to realize that although we both claim to be Christians, the daycare owner has a very different worldview than I do - at least as far as church and family are concerned. He believes in the popular "preacher man" view of the pastor. I clearly do not. He seems to support the existence of denominations. I do not. He thinks more than two kids equals a burden. I do not.
If I had known him better, I'd like to have asked him to support anything he said with scripture. Of course, he would not have been able to do so. His worldview, as is so often the case, is based on cultural norms instead of scripture.
What does the bible say about these things?
The bible tells us that all Christians are responsible to proclaim/preach the gospel. The bible also shows this proclaiming happening in the presence of non-Christians. We never see anyone preaching to the church during a gathering.
As for denominations, the bible does not mention them. Instead, the emphasis is upon unity in the church. All followers of Christ are to be one in Him. Division amongst believers is never portrayed as positive in scripture.
Finally, the bible tells us that children are a gift of God. He is the giver of life. The man with many children is seen as blessed. Children are never described as any sort of burden in the bible.
What should I now do? First, I hope to get to know this man better. If he is a Christian, I'd like to encourage him. I'd also like to eventually challenge some of his beliefs mentioned above.
Also, this experience was a good warning to me. It is so easy to simply adopt cultural values about all sorts of things instead of asking what the bible says about them. We can claim to have a biblical worldview, but in order to do this we must ask questions and seek answers through the pages of the bible. Instead of being prideful, my hope is that this man's views will challenge me to take a hard look at what I believe about a whole range of things.
Is what I believe actually biblical? And, is how I act actually biblical? Instead of falling into pride when seeing others' faults, we should be warned to look closely for our own. I hope I have the chutzpah to do so.