It's Okay to Party (5 of 6) by Rick White

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It’s Okay to Party (5 of 6)
Series: Bridge Builders: People Reaching People
Rick White
Luke 5:27-32

Message Truth: Salvation is a free gift of God that we receive, celebrate, and strategically seek to share with other people.

In the fall of 1979 I was a seminary student at SBTS and became the pastor of the South Fork Baptist Church in Hodgenville, KY. It was a wonderful church and a tremendous learning experience. The church had a great heritage and was one of the oldest churches in the state. On one occasion the young people of the church were having a party (fellowship was a more acceptable word within church ranks.) If you have been in church for any length of time you can remember what the parties were like; distinctive dingy basement odor, folding chairs, stale cookies, red punch (always red and never sweet enough), a vintage WWII piano (that sounded like it had been shot during the war). Not much atmosphere and not much fun.

On this particular occasion the youth were playing rook when a couple of the older deacons just happened to drop by. What happened next was much like Jesus cleansing the temple of the moneychangers. They were filled with anger and let it be known that there would be no card playing in the church. What made this entire episode so unbelievable was the widely known fact that these men met to play cards at the local barbershop every Wednesday when the town closed down at noon.

If you have been in church very long there is something else you can probably remember about those parties. The crowd. Very distinctive. You did not find people in attendance who were part of the ‘‘party crowd’’. Those two worlds, the church crowd and the party crowd, never mixed. If they did you could be assured it was not intentional.

Some of this was due to parental supervision. Some of it however was also being reinforced with a less than balanced approach to the teaching in scripture regarding separation from the world. Balance in ...

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