It is Labor Day today, and we anticipate spending the day with friends. We will be spending the day with these particular friends because a few weeks ago they emailed and said, “We want to do something on Labor Day. With you. At your house.” They just went ahead and invited themselves over and invited some mutual friends to come with them. I love it.
Many years ago I wrote about this subject of inviting yourself over and was rather surprised to hear how many Christians find this an objectionable practice.
When I’m trying to nudge people to their left on an issue – trying to persuade five point Calvinists to become four pointers or less, commending pacifism, defending theistic evolution, or championing charismatic gifts for today – I feel radical, creative, daring, exciting, and somewhat impish. But when I’m trying to nudge people to their right about something – inerrancy, hell, gender roles, sexual ethics, biblical authority, Reformed soteriology – I feel conservative, stern, unpopular, staid, and even somewhat apologetic. It’s a very nebulous contrast, and I’d forgive you for wondering what on earth I was talking about, but at the same time I suspect there may be others out there who have felt the same thing. But why?
All good things can be abused and become that which entangles us. We tend to focus on those things which pose obvious dangers, like alcohol. But we must beware of those things which are likely to trip us up, not just those things we know cause others to fall. One of the great sins which goes unaddressed in Christian circles is intemperance. Intemperance is essentially overindulgence; the absence of self-control. We like to give ourselves, or even some others, a pass if the sin of intemperance doesn’t look so bad.
Infographic explaining the findings of a recent survey by Lifeway: