The other day, my oldest son Fischer came home with a special flyer from this school. Apparently, a local group was offering Hula Dancing Lessons to boys and girls. For $120, my son, my one day going to be a man son, could experience 8 weeks of grass skirt hip gyrating exercise that would be the envy of manly Dad’s everywhere. Not Karate or Kung Fun, not hammering nails or building forts, not skateboards or video games…no, hula dancing. It took me all of three seconds to decide that my son would not be doing it, although Caylin had said he was really excited about it. So I had to tell him…
- “Fischer, you will not be doing hula lessons.”
- “Hula dancing, well, it’s, um, it’s for girls. You’ve already mastered the art of twisting and shaking your bottom. Go put some grass clippings in your pocket and there you have it.”
- “Well Dad, it was originally just for boys.”
- “So you say.”
- “Yeah…” And Fischer proceeded to give me a detailed explanation as to the history of hula dancing.
I did a little research of my own. Hula dancing basically began as a religious ritual rather than entertainment. There were a number of rules about how to do it, when, etc. It had been around for thousands of years until the Christians showed us as missionaries in the 1800s. They believed the dance was of the devil, against God, and it almost disappeared as a result. Eventually, a king made sure it didn’t all but disappear and revived the art underground.
Now, there are some of you probably thinking, what does this have to do with the gospel of John AND what kind of freakish Dad thinks his son will be damaged by gyrating around in a grass skirt. Did you listen to what you just said? Your talking to a Dad whose took his boys for some man-therapy the other night by going to Joe’s and looking at punching bags, knives, and guns to feel normal again. Sorry, I want my boys to be manly and grass skirts appear to be a step in the wrong direction.
So what does this have to do with John or Christianity—everything! See, I realize that a lot of people will view me as some man-o-maniac who is trying to make their son some sort of Chuck-Norris He-man hybrid. But, I have a plan for what I want to teach my son and it’s not to be a hula dancer. There is nothing wrong with hula dancing in itself, but it feels like today’s world refuses to draw any lines on anything. Perhaps they would understand if Fischer had requested to starting using a purse or wearing a dress. At some point the answer is simply NO…you’re a boy. They are hesitant for fear of what people say to declare I believe this, this is right, and/or this is wrong. All in the name of tolerance.
What happens when this extends into Jesus and Christianity? There has to be some lines drawn from Scripture about who Jesus is, who we are, and how we are supposed to live. All too often, people have started to declare who Jesus is or what the faith in him looks like without any basis in Scripture. In fact, most of them have abandoned Scripture all together. It seems like EVERYTHING is up for grabs these days. If you start changing Jesus, say, he’s not born of a virgin, it will never stop there. Suddenly, you’re not certain if Hell is a real place and whether homosexuality is in fact a sin. That is exactly what Satan did in the beginning when he showed up and started having an innocent conversation with our first parents Adam and Eve asking, “Did God really say that?” There is nothing wrong with questions—BUT WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS COMING FROM? At some point, if you haven’t taken a stand, even on the SMALL THINGS, you’ve changed something enough that he’s NO LONGER Jesus of the Bible, it’s no longer Christianity!
In today’s passage, Jesus will draw some lines that make many people SO UNCOMFORTABLE, even offended, that they will ignore what He has said completely. It just can’t be that…it must mean something else…it doesn’t.
READ JOHN 14.1-11