Last night Leigh-Ann and I attended an information meeting for our trip to Budapest, Hungary. God has provided us with an awesome opportunity to join about 40 other Americans (10 from Kansas City) in Budapest for a time to encourage missionaries, evangelize high school and university students and participate in educational forums.
We all found it quite entertaining to learn about traditions that we have in America that could be offensive in Hungary. For instance, we learned that we shouldn’t smile at them. The logic goes, “since you don’t know them, why would you smile at them?”
We also learned that Hungarians are brutally honest. For instance, don’t ask for their opinion without being prepared for the raw truth. If I asked what they thought about my sermon, I should be prepared to hear that I could have had better illustrations, some points didn’t seem to correlate well and it was boring. It seems they willingly tell you to your face what Americans are only comfortable sharing behind your back =).
In addition to these examples, there are some words that are very normal, everyday language to us that would mean something totally different and be very offensive to Hungarians.
Though we would never offend on purpose, we were told that if we ignore these little things we could make some people pretty angry.
Life is like this many times…we may never consider killing someone (at least I hope =)) but we may harbor anger that has identical roots.
This Sunday, we are planning to study the 3rd letter in Revelation addressed to the church in Pergamum. The bottom line is that they had overlooked some basic sins and over time their major doctrines were at risk.
It reminds me of my college car…a Mazda 323. It had some rust that I was able to ignore for a while, however within time it broke through the paint and even wore through my floor boards. Leigh-Ann has a good story about snow blowing in one time when she borrowed my car.
The point is that when the small issues are left unchecked they become a threat to the truth. So my question for Sunday is, “what if the church identified and battled the corrosion of truth?”
I hope to see you there!
FYI – This is one of the best blogs that I have read in a while…you will love it. It is written by fellow New Lifers, Tim and Ira McMahon: http://firstjohn419.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/gold-and-silver-i-have-not-and-crack-i-have-no-use-for-but-let-me-pray-for-you/.