Brown Houses

January 28, 2014



For months now, I have been obsessing about brown houses.  I don’t want to… but I can’t help it.  That probably sounds odd.  Let me explain.

I live in a suburb of Houston that is exploding with home building.  Where only a few months ago there were fields with cattle, now there are neighborhoods with schools, parks and amenities. 

And the thing about these new houses… most of them are big and brown.  Okay, they aren’t solid brown.  They are actually quite nice, like the rendering above. But the predominate color is some shade of brown.  There is a lot of brown stone, brown brick, brown trim, and brown garage doors.  To drive through any neighborhood is to see a lot of brown.   

Now, I have nothing against brown.  I have some brownish stone on my house (which is mostly red brick).  What bothers me, what I have been obsessing about, is the people in the brown houses.  I worry about them…a lot.  Here’s why.

For most of my ministry, I have lived in a predominately Christian culture.  Whether or not they actively practiced it, people generally understood the basics of the Christian faith.  That is changing.

Increasingly, (for a plethora of reasons) people are confused and even ignorant about Christianity.  Recently, I asked a couple of twenty-something guys if they knew what Christmas is about.  One shook his head, no.  The other hopefully replied, “Hanukah?” They were serious.

What is more disheartening is the hostility being directed toward Christians these days.  YouTube is filled with rants from atheists.  And, oh my gosh, there are some incredibly lewd cartoons hating on God, Jesus and Christians.   The vitriol takes my breath away.

I didn’t just pop out from under a rock.  I do understand the cultural dynamics that are taking place.  And, I do listen and am sympathetic to many of the charges leveled against Christians and churches. 

What is disturbing, however, and what I can’t stop worrying about is this.  The central issue of Christianity is being overlooked and obscured.  Whatever failings churches and churches may have, the critical issue is Jesus.  Is he who he claimed to be or not? 

C.S. Lewis put it this way.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Everyone has a choice about Jesus. Will we believe him and live into that belief?  Or not?  These days, more people do not believe.  And this is partly due to ignorance, misinformation and bias. That disturbs me… a lot.  Thus, whenever I see brown houses, I worry about the people in them (and in red houses, in apartments, etc.).  And, I pray for them.

, , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: