- "What does 'b@*tard' mean?" (writing it in the blog was almost as shocking as hearing it live). This one came in the context of our Biblical Parenting studies. The woman who asked it (following a session on ineffective parenting methods...yelling, berating, etc.), said "I call my daughter that all the time when she doesn't obey, but it dawned on me just now that I don't even know what it means ... I just heard it on a movie once." For starters, I suggested that we not use words that we don't know the meaning of. Secondly, I explained the meaning of the word. Finally, I encouraged us all to refrain from using expletives at all, especially when irritated with our children, suggesting some healthier alternatives. Whew, that was a first!
- During a casual conversation with a Christian and another man who's been visiting the assemblies recently, they began asking about Sabbath-keeping (always a go-to Q&A topic in Vanuatu). That discussion led to a very interesting question along the lines of "what about people who respect Sunday but don't go to church or even call themselves Christians ... will they go to heaven?" It took me a while to understand where they were coming from, but I eventually realized that they were coming at God's judgment from a very legalistic standpoint. It was as if they thought if you do this set of things (e.g. respect Sundays) in the prescribed way and subscribe to the right side of a series of belief-questions, then you've successfully appeased God to the point that he will be willing to save you... actually very pagan, really. It was a great avenue to talk about the true meaning and effectiveness of faith in Christ, and that while the first day of the week has special significance and assembling has great value, it really has little (or nothing) to do with one's salvation, per se.
|Interestingly, this was the site of my discussion where question #2 was asked - the village nakamal (or "meeting place"). The houses were built for the boys to live in during their recent month-long circumcision festivities.|