NYC: Beer and McDonalds

We were standing outside a restaurant early one evening looking for a place to eat. I went to NY thinking that I was going to eat some authentic food from many different cultures. Boy, was I in for a shock. We were standing in front of this restaurant and the only question that seemed to matter was whether the restaurant sold alcohol or not. I couldn’t believe it. I was not surprised that that was the question of the evening, but I was still amazed that there was a hesitancy about going into the restaurant. They resisted. They could not be in the same building where alcohol was sold.

I told them that I didn’t drive over 800 miles to eat at McDonalds. I was not about to eat at some chain on my first and potentially only trip to New York City. Well, we ate at Wendy’s. It was sad. Welcome to my world. I could not reconcile that kind of interpretation from Scripture. It made no sense to me. It was a preference that was amazingly inconsistent. And I was being self-righteous about the whole thing.

There was angst in my soul regarding my religion. This was an early sign that I was a misfit among my brothers. This was part of a continuum of evidences that told me that I was a fish out of my element. Unfortunately I didn’t know there was any other place to go. There were no options for me except for the option in which I existed.

The inconsistencies were all over the map. We could watch a football game played by godless people who promote hedonism and a low to no view of the local church that was shown on a TV that is owned by a godless corporation. The TV network is similarly godless and has done as much to promote godlessness in our culture as anything else. We buy gasoline from godless corporations and just about every other association we have has some connection to paganism. It is the world in which we live. However, somebody said that alcohol is worse than these other things and therefore we can be inconsistent as long as we believe there are degrees of sin, paganism, compromise, etc. The bible would not support this position, but depending on the group you are talking to you would find yourself in situations where you have crossed somebody’s artificial line of asceticism. It could be tricky for the novice, but once you get in and learn the ropes you knew where to step and not step. You also learned body language, the art of observation and question asking to quickly assess a situation to know if you have crossed the line or were about to. For me I was about at the end of caring for this kind of artificial, superficial religion. I was peeking over the fence and these brothers in NYC were a great help in this process.

They didn’t have the luxury to created ascetic practices. They were tyring to survive.

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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

2 thoughts on “NYC: Beer and McDonalds

  1. According to the heading on your blog, this is for your kids. I feel like I’m eavesdropping. Thank you for your openness in cyberspace. It helps.

  2. I couldn’t email you either. I deleted your comment from my blog since your intent is to not have outside traffic. I don’t have anyone reading mine, but I hope the ones I want to will eventually read it.
    The “edge” you talk about is very muted compared to what it could be. It’s a balancing act to not say too much, kind of like life. It’s good to see inside of someone else who’s down the road I’m traveling on. It helps because even though the places and situations are different they are still very much alike. There is nothing to forgive. There is no offence.
    You’re the biggest sinner?-you haven’t met me. I have journals also, but I’d have to do a lot of editing before anyone read them. I’ve thought about what my kids would think if they read them after I died. Hopefully the life they saw me live and the one they read about would eventually be merged into the same one in the journals–what you see is what I am. That’s one of my goals for life.–I’m just not sure it’s possible.

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