Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Calvinism Debate: Will Southern Baptists Learn from History, or Repeat it?

If you are a Southern Baptist who came here to witness or participate in yet another fight over Calvinism, browse on.  You are in the wrong place!

Nope, this post isn't going to be about what you think its going to be about.  The debate over the proper balance between divine sovereignty and human responsibility has been going on for more than 500 years, and many of the participants who were way smarter than this native South Carolina redneck were unable to settle the question for good.  So I have no intention of adding gasoline to the fire that seems to be spreading across my beloved denomination.

Instead, my hope is to provide some historical perspective, as well as point out some historical parallels.  Though I can't remember who first said this, our current situation in the Southern Baptist Convention illustrates well that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

Right here, right now, we are at that very crossroads!

A casual perusal of church history bears out that there are cycles of debates that are necessary, which are usually followed by subsequent debates that, while important, are simply incendiary and ultimately unhelpful.  What I find interesting about the current debate in Southern Baptist life is how uncanny the parallel is between our current situation, and that in which the issues we now fight about find their origin.  As is now the case with Southern Baptists, so it also was at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation; a necessary battle that was unfortunately followed by incendiary and divisive conflict that threatened to tear apart the very fabric of what had just been built.

To see this parallel requires a bit of a dive into Church History.  But stay with me.  I promise we are going somewhere!

The story begins in Medieval Rome  The doctrinal integrity of the Catholic church was at a breaking point.  Cultural syncretism over the centuries had all but led to a complete loss of ecclesiological identity, which by the 1500s was also accompanied by rampant immorality throughout the Roman Empire, enabled by the Church of Rome.  Every kind of evil, from the visiting of prostitutes by Priests to the fleecing of the poor was taking place in the "holy city."

Into this context, in the year 1500, walks an unwitting German monk named Martin Luther.  For most of his life, the young man had longed to see Rome; the fountainhead from which he believed his faith flowed.  What he saw there shocked him to the core.  His stomach was turned by the sexual immorality he witnessed.  But even more offensive to the young Luther was the way the poor were mistreated.  The system of "indulgences" set up by the church to raise money for the building of St. Peter's Basilica created an environment where the rich could sin as much as they wanted, while the poor lived, not only in poverty, but also under the constant threat of eternal damnation.  The young monk so enraptured with thoughts of visiting the holy city would later be quoted as saying "If there is a hell, Rome is built over it!"

Shaken to the core, Luther would ponder his experiences for the next seven years.  But with the escalation of abusive indulgences, and their extension into remote areas outside Rome through Tetzel's preaching, he would finally be motivated to face the corruption head on.  And face it he did, through the document you and I now know as the 95 Theses.  In the coming years, Luther would discover that all of the debauchery he was witnessing in Rome, as well as the strong resistance to his warnings, were informed by bad theology.  And so, the Protestant Reformation had begun.

For those who would soon be called "Lutherans," that Reformation culminated in the Augsburg Confession (1530).  For others who took part in the breakaway from Rome, subsequent confessions would be written, and each would identify themselves as the "true church," over against the Roman Catholicism out of which they had come.  The fires of the Protestant Gospel spread throughout Europe, and established itself within two generations on the complimentary foundations of the priesthood of all believers, and open access to all to the Scriptures, which were translated into the languages of the people.

The Gospel had been recovered, and it was time to move forward.  Unfortunately, the Reformers maintained their posture of critique, and the horrific result is rightly mourned to this day by Baptists who know their history well, as it was our theological ancestors who bore the brunt of their persecution.  What motivated these continued inquisitions depends on which historian you talk to, but the use of political tactics--and force--to silence dissent and other groups, were commonplace throughout this period of history, and those tactics included the execution of those who held different views.

Within this context, a group of Dutch theologians felt the need to respond to aspects of a theology forwarded by the students of a French pastor named John Calvin.  Heavily influenced by Jacobus Arminius, These "Remonstrants" presented a document to the state of Holland in 1610 containing five points of disagreement with their Calvinist bretheren.  Nine years later, the Synod of Dort convened, and developed their own statement in response to the Arminians.  Out of these Canons of Dort came what we know today as the "five points of Calvinism."

(As a side note, I think it would be very helpful to some of my fellow Calvinists if they would understand this historical context.  The "five points" were simply a response to a particular set of 17th century articles of faith.  To be in agreement with them is one thing.  But to centralize one's entire theology around a snapshot in church history is both myopic and foolish!  But I digress . . . )

Here is the big idea:  By the end of the Reformation, the church had recovered the heart of the Gospel.  But instead of seeking to spread that Gospel across the world, they maintained a posture of critique, suspicion, and paranoia.  Ultimately, the Protestant church would be legitimately accused of violating the "prime directive" of Jesus, with the Catholic theologian Erasmus suggesting that these new Protestants can't be the true church, because they don't have missionaries.

Fast forward 450 years, and we find the Southern Baptist Convention in the throes of a theological identity crisis.  In the mid 20th century, the SBC was headed down the same path as most other liberal mainline traditions.  Our mission boards sent an unclear sound to the world regarding the exclusivity of Jesus.  Our seminaries were plagued with Existentialism and Neo-Orthodoxy.  Our Ethics arm in Washington D.C. was essentially "pro-choice."  We were an unhealthy denomination whose dysfunction was enabled by bad theology.  The Gospel was at stake, and something had to be done!

Thanks in large part to men like Paige Patterson, Adrian Rogers and others, local churches were empowered over a 30 year period to change the direction of the SBC, and in most ways, the ship has been set in the right direction.  And the question in front of us is the same that confronted the Protestant Reformers:  Will we move ahead and spread the Gospel globally, or maintain a posture of critique and in-fighting that destroys the very fabric of what has just been built?

The current level of discussion over this issue in SBC life doesn't bode well for our future.  One one side are some Calvinists who maintain a posture of superiority and exclusivity, criticizing everything that doesn't fit into their particular paradigm as "unBiblical."  Though I love and appreciate him, some of Al Mohler's comments haven't helped matters  either.  Though I think his statements are misinterpreted by those who disagree with him, referring to Calvinism as "the heart of the Gospel" simply sends the wrong message.  The Gospel isn't Calvinism or Arminianism.  The Gospel is Jesus!!!!  Calvinism is one way of understanding how Jesus does His work of saving sinners, but it is not the heart of our message as Southern Baptists.

It is sad to admit that, to use a sports analogy, Calvinists seem to have more referees than players.  I don't believe this is true, but I do believe the perception is there.  I also believe there are a few, vocal Calvinists who are not helping us move the ball down the field at all in terms of extending the Kingdom of God, but instead remain on the sidelines ready to blow their whistles and cry "foul" anytime someone espouses something that doesn't completely line up with their own system.

On the other side are those who have recently branded themselves "Traditionalists."  Fueled by a fear that the SBC is in danger of becoming "Calvinized,"  if there is a group on the planet that is more obsessed with Reformed theology than hyper-Calvinists, it is the Traditionalists.  Like the majority of Calvinists, most of those in this camp want to get past the vitriol and back to the mission field.  But a few are spending way too much time developing lists of "how to tell if someone is a Calvinisst," and scouring Sunday School curriculum to ensure proper "balance" is given to their particular understanding.  As a colleague recently said to me, "it's theological bean-counting at its worst!"

So here we sit, with a strong belief in Biblical inerrancy, an exclusive view of Jesus, and the largest and most effective missions-sending delivery system in the history of Protestantism.  Will we come together to capitalize on the opportunity God has given us to change the world, or will we continue to segregate ourselves--fueled by misinformation about each other, suspicion and paranoia--until we become the very thing we claim we hate?

There is another path.  Coming at the conclusion of the One8 Church Planting Conference in Mississippi, Russ Moore paints a potentially great picture of our future together:

What I saw today: Suits and flannel, Reformed and traditionalist, hymnals and iPods.  Fighting devils, loving each other.  The future of the SBC. 

I like that picture!  Let's start drawing it together, shall we?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

God and Guns: Do they Go Together?

In the wake of the recent shootings in Aurora and Washington, many Christians have questioned whether it is  time to have a fresh conversation about the availability of guns in our culture and its possible correlation to the violence.  Of course, broaching that subject in the United States is always sure to ignite a firestorm, and some of our brothers from abroad demonstrated that they were not averse to that fight.  The most prominent of these brothers was Alan Hirsch.

For the record, I love Alan Hirsch.  God has used Alan's writings to challenge me in fresh ways for the past 10 years, and without his influence on my life and ministry, I would be far less effective in what I seek to do for Jesus.  Additionally, I appreciate Alan's willingness to speak counter-culturally to my country.  As a native Aussie, he has often possessed a wise outside voice and American Christians should pay attention when he speaks.  Though I felt his words following the tragic shooting in Aurora were ill-timed, I appreciate his passion to see the culture in which he now lives (he currently resides in Los Angeles) redeemed.  Furthermore, he is right when he says that American culture is saturated with violence that demeans human beings and our God, in whose image they are created.  I agree with him that we are a nation awash in violence, from video games to crime to our own national propensity to think that nearly every foreign policy problem can be fixed by flexing our military muscle.

That said, Alan and many others made two strong claims in the wake of the most recent shootings.  First, they believe that the proliferation of firearms in the United States has a direct correlation to the amount of violence that occurs here.  Second, they ground their call for strict gun control in the view that Christians should never resort to violence because such action is always--always--contrary to the spirit of Jesus, who instructs us to "turn the other cheek."

As a follower of Jesus who has been positively influenced by Hirsch for years, these statements gave me pause.  I'm a Christian, a minister of the Gospel, and a gun-owner.  (Actually, I own more than one!)  Are these identities irreconcilable?   Certainly they can be, but must they be?  Or, as Darrell Cole astutely asks "How can Christians reconcile God the Warrior with God the Crucified?"

In light of all this, I wanted to take a moment to speak to my pacifist friends in the larger body of Christ who believe guys like me are a living contradiction.  But before I explain how I reconcile my faith in Jesus and my strong belief in our nation's second amendment, let me say the following to my pacifist brothers and sisters:

1. You are right to point out that our nation has grown too war-hungry.  Too often when our leaders decide to take us to war, American Christians are more worried about being "good patriots" than we are followers of Jesus who must sometimes condemn unjust violence, even when it is waged by those in authority.
2. Contrary to the stereotype, the pacificsts I know are VERY tough people.  Inherent in living the pacifist lifestyle is that you must, if necessary, be able to take a beating.  Though I disagree with you, I have an enormous respect for the sacrifice you are willing to make if necessary, to truly and consistently live your faith.
3. We need your voice in regard to how we interact with our government.  Alan is absolutely right that "civil war" resides in too many hearts in the United States.  Where government authority is concerned, the first responsibility of the Christian is to submit, not rebel.

So if I truly believe this, why am I not a pacifist?  Why do I think its OK to own, and if necessary use, a gun?

1. "Turn the Other Cheek" doesn't mean becoming a doormat for bullies.  I hear that question all the time.  "How can someone who follows Jesus truly "turn the other cheek" and at the same time own a gun?"   In the spirit of "The Princess Bride" I can only answer by saying "You keep using that verse.  I do not think it means what you think it means!"

In the context of Matthew 5, Jesus is speaking about the propensity of self-justification and "getting what is ours."   A "slap on the cheek" in the 1st century was the way you personally insulted someone.  It wasn't a hard or physically abusive slap, but simply a cultural way of insulting the dignity of another.  So when Jesus refers to "slapping on the right cheek," He isn't saying we should always take a beating.  Instead, He is saying that when we experience personal insult, we should refrain from returning insult.  In our vernacular, Jesus is saying "let it go!"

This is a far cry from the way this text is often abused.  The command to "turn the other cheek" is far from an unqualified command to never defend yourself or others.

That said, this command would certainly speak to any inclination we might have to "get even," including any employment of violence we may desire to use to achieve our goals.  If someone insults me personally, slanders my name, or treats me as beneath them, I have no right under the Lordship of Jesus to shoot them, hit them, or for that matter, to do anything to them. Furthermore, I would challenge any follower of Jesus who believes it is their "American right" to kill someone for stealing their private property.  Depending on the state you live in, you may indeed have that right, but exercising it may result in disobedience to Jesus.

 But using a firearm to defend yourself or others from a vicious attacker is a far different scenario.

2. Force is sometimes justified, especially if employed to defend the weak.  If injustice is being suffered by the weak and helpless, that is a different matter, and in such a scenario, it behooves us to remember that the same Lord who commanded us to "turn the other cheek" also turned over tables in the temple, cracked a whip and physically drove thieves out of God's house!  The same Jesus who warned Peter about improper dependence on "the sword" is prophesied as Himself coming back wearing a robe that is drenched in the blood of His enemies.  If violence is always inherently wrong, then you and I are worshiping an imperfect Savior.

To quickly resort to the use of violence is a sinful abomination.  But if there is an imminent threat to your wife and children, misapplying Jesus' command to "turn the other cheek" is also a sinful refusal to defend the weak.  I don't want to hurt anyone.  But if faced with the choice of having my wife and children abused or taking the action any Christian husband and father should take to defend them, I will choose the latter course every time!

3. In many cases, greater force would curb violence.  The answer to violent acts like that which took place in Aurora Colorado is not to take guns out of the hands of those who lawfully possess them.  The answer is for the state to exercise its God-given authority to terminate the life of the man who so thoughtlessly murdered innocent people.  Somewhere along the way, we've lost sight of the fact that shootings are the fault of the shooter, not Smith & Wesson, Glock, or H&K.

I understand that there are people who love Jesus, and are, in good conscience, on both sides of the "death penalty" debate.  I may take up that subject in more detail in a later post.  For now I will simply say that the environment that breeds such horrific behavior should not be ignored, but individuals must be held responsible for their own actions.  And sometimes, the only way to put an end to unjust violence is force.

4. Violence is always unfortunate, but not always evil.  In fact, I would contend that most who condemn all violence are unwittingly supporting violence that might otherwise be stopped.  If a classroom full of children is being held hostage by a madman, to condemn police for targeting the perpetrator is to encourage the slaughter of innocents.  If a rapist has set his sights on a woman in a desolate parking lot, condemning her for carrying a concealed weapon for protection is, whether you intend it or not, granting the criminal a perfect environment to commit a horrific act of violence.

All over the world, human beings created in God's image and likeness are trafficked as slaves.  Those who deal in this unspeakable trade have the hardest of hearts, and their intent for profit is, literally, murderous.  Simply speaking against them isn't enough.  In many cases, even the laws of the countries in which they operate are such that their victims will never find peace this side of heaven....unless someone is willing to use force.  I want peace as badly as my pacifist friends.  But genuine peace, as it is portrayed in Scripture, requires more than simply the absence of violence.  It also requires the presence of justice.

It is on this point where I find the greatest paradox with Alan Hirsch.  Hirsch was quick to condemn the "gun culture" in North America, and cast his condemnation against the backdrop of the assumption that all violence is inherently wrong.  Yet this is the same Alan Hirsch who publicly endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election.  This is the same Barack Obama who voted against the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act," and thus wants it to remain legally permissible, not only to murder unborn children, but to murder them even minutes after they are born if the abortion attempt is botched.  I understand that Alan's support of the current incumbent is based on a wider platform of issues than this, and respect his views on those issues.  Still, it is impossible to be more violent than this, or to commit this violence against a more vulnerable section of the population.  In light of this, I find it difficult to take his condemnation of "violence" seriously.

Like Alan and others, I long for a world where violence no longer exists.  Unfortunately, this isn't heaven.  This is earth, and its an earth filled with sin.  Alan is correct that "violent hearts" are many, especially in the United States.  He is correct that it is these violent hearts that cause much of the anguish we see on the news each night.  As a Christ-follower, I stand with him in wanting to see an end to this.  I just happen to believe he is mistaken to think that the way to end criminal violence is to take away the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and those whose safety and well-being they are responsible for.

Our current system of government grants this right of self-protection to the populace as well as those who wear a badge.  Certainly there are times when, as a Christian, exercising a American right would be contrary to the spirit of Jesus.  But where the right to bear arms is concerned, taking that right completely away is not the answer.

But that's my view, and I recognize, and respect, that there are others among our global Christian family.  With this in view, and with the recognition that there is no clearly "Biblical" position on gun control, perhaps the best text to which we can appeal is Romans 14.  Those like Alan Hirsch are, where guns are concerned, "weaker brothers."  As one who holds a different view on this issue, my responsibility to them is not to cause them to stumble by trying to force them into my way of thinking.  If some Christians believe it would be wrong for them to own and possibly use a firearm, then they shouldn't have one, and I shouldn't bring guilt on them for not having one!  Conversely, since there is no prohibition in Scripture against owning a weapon, or using that weapon in self-defense or the defense of others, Paul's words in Romans 14 for my pacifist friends are clear.  "Who are you to judge the servant of another?"

So let's continue conversations that sharpen each other's iron.  Let's continue to contend for justice together. Let's continue to work on our violent culture together with the Gospel.  But let's not toss salvos at each other.  That's a politician's game.  And followers of Jesus are called to a higher level of play.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Book that is Worth a Look

My friend Ed Stetzer asked me several weeks ago to preview and review his new book Subversive Kingdom.  Ed now turns out new books with more frequency than Papa Johns delivers pizzas, but this one represents a different fare for him.

Written more like a series of sermons, "Subversive Kingdom" is a challenge engage the world Jesus died to save in fresh ways--ways that are grounded in a thorough exegesis of the "Kingdom of God."  The book consists of three parts that challenge the reader to a new way of thinking about how to advance God's Kingdom, the requirements for living this kind of life, and practical ways to apply "subversive living."

I like this book, and will likely use it for discussion groups with my pastors.  However, the real potency of this work will not be known until its message gets into the hands, and hearts, of the "laity" in our churches.  The title doesn't help, as I can't imagine the average church-goer excited about buying this one for the cover, so it will take pastors and others actually putting the book into the hands of their people.  But if you can only put one book into your people's hands this year (other than Scripture of course), this is the one!

Additionally, most of Ed's books are of the "how to" variety.  This one casts a fantastic vision for what it would look like if God's people would truly live "at His complete disposal, deployed by His Spirit to make creative, courageous inroads into the heart of a dying culture."

I've been using a new term with our Associational leadership recently; "broken arrow missiology."  If you recognize the military reference, you know that "broken arrow" is a code word the indicates that the lines of battle have broken down to the point that they are no longer recognizable.  In such a situation, you can still recognize who is with you and who isn't, but the lines of demarcation are blurred to the extent that you can no longer tell where you end and enemy territory begins.  In an actual battle scenario, this is never a good situation.  Yet in many ways, this is precisely how God desires for us to engage the world.  As long as there are lines of demarcation between "Christian culture" and "non-Christian culture," the best we will be able to do is occasionally scoop out unbelievers from the world and bring them over to our side of the "battle lines."  Problem is, God owns the whole world and demands that we take the whole thing!  For this to happen, the message of the Gospel must be brought to bear in a way that interlaces with the world systems that you and I face each and every day.

In "Subversive Kingdom," Ed Stetzer has painted a great and accurate picture of what such engagement looks like.  You can pick it up at your local Lifeway store, or buy it here at Amazon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Why I'm Joining the Gay Community at Chick fil A this Friday

This Friday night, the homosexual community is planning sit-in protests at Chick fil A restaurants all over the country.  And this Friday, I'll also be at my local Chick fil A, hopefully making some new friends!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month, you are already aware of how much cultural bru-ha-ha can be stirred up over something as basic as a chicken sandwich.  Today, Christians from all over the country rallied in support of the Chick fil A chain of restaurants by packing parking lots and dining rooms to the tune of hours-long waits at some locations.  "Chick fil A Appreciation Day" was, by any commercial standard, a roaring success.

This Christian, however, stayed away.

It isn't that I didn't try.  Spending a few hours with my 6-year-old son this evening, he asked for their nuggets (and their indoor playground!)  But I'll be honest.  Once I saw the line wrapped around the building...twice, I decided otherwise.  Besides, I wasn't going to "show my support."  I was going because I wanted my kid to have a white meat alternative to that nasty stuff at McDonalds!

This is not to say that I don't support the company.  I do!  Aside from making great chicken sandwiches and a reputation for stellar customer service, many positive things about Chick fil A have been overshadowed by the current culture-war back and forth, including the large amounts of money they give back to local communities, and generous scholarship programs for employees.  And for the record, I'm thankful for strong, ethical companies run by Christian business leaders.

Additionally, I've been personally blessed by the Cathy family.  It was Dan's father Truett--who founded the company decades ago--who was present at Southern Seminary the day my wife and I presented our first-born infant son to the seminary community in chapel.  At the close of the service, Mr. Cathy told us "a young couple who has just had a baby needs to get out now and again," while pressing into my hand enough coupons to allow us to eat on his company's dime for at least a week!  A servant's heart and the spirit of generosity have always been present in the Chick fil A chain, because that same heart is possessed by its owners.

But in times like these, when the "culture war" reaches a fever pitch, I have to step back, take a breath, and ask my Lord what I should do.  I respect those who turned out in masses today to support a company that has come under media and local government fire around the country, and I also agree with their position on the family.  But ultimately, such shows of support do little to advance the Gospel.  When you pack the room with people already going to heaven, it tends to discourage non-Christians from showing up!

By contrast, when I read about Jesus' words and actions in Scripture, I see a Savior who aggressively pursues relationships with people who are far from God, and who simultaneously displays a strong reticence toward fighting over the control of temporary kingdoms.  His mission was, and is, much larger!

Jesus was, in fact, once asked about his views of marriage by the Sadducees--the 1st century's equivalent to modern political liberalism.  The context of the question was, of course, different from today's debate, as was their goal of forcing their denial of the resurrection.  But the scenario was the same; a group of people bent on forcing a theological and political point of view.  Jesus' answer pointed to something higher and better. (Matthew 22:23-33)

And just prior to that conversation, the "1st century conservatives" also confronted the Lord with a sticky political issue; that of income taxes!  Here again is a special interest group seeking to entangle the Lord in a lesser battle over lesser, temporary things.  Jesus' response is quite comical.  He had someone present a coin and simply asked whose picture was on it. I can almost see Him tossing the coin back to its owner in disdainful fashion, in a way saying "if Caesar wants these little coins, give them to him.  Just remember to give God what is His!" (Matthew 22:15-22)

As an evangelical conservative, I sympathize with those who showed solidarity and support today for Chick fil A.  I agree with their position on this issue.   But the gay community is not my enemy.  And even if my views bring them to view me as an enemy, I am compelled by the undeserved love I've received from Jesus to love them back. (MAtthew 5:43-48)

Like all other kingdoms that came before it, the one you and I live in now is also temporary.  Its that other Kingdom.. .the one Jesus mentions more than 80 times in the Gospels...the one He is obsessed with, that I care about extending.

This Friday night, a group of people He wants to be part of that Kingdom have announced where they will be.  What else can I do but show up?  No, I won't be making protest signs or standing in solidarity out front.  I'll be inside, inconspicuously consuming waffle fries that will most likely shorten my time here on this earth.  Come to think of it, someone might identify me as "one of them!" But that's OK.  I may not share their attraction for the same sex, but at heart we really aren't all that different.  Ultimately, these are people just like you and me.  They are broken with sin, just like you and me, and I want to get to know them, if they will let me.  I want to hear their stories.  I want to identify with their struggles, at least as much as a heterosexual man is able.  And I want to offer the Kingdom and its King.  I might even buy them a great chicken sandwich while we talk!

I love Chick fil A, and agree with what they stand for.  But I love the Savior I know Dan Cathy serves more, and I long for His Kingdom to be realized in the hearts of my friends in the gay community.

Chick fil A has taken some heavy shots over the past couple of weeks because Dan Cathy took a strong, but compassionate stand.  Showing support for that company is a great thing, but let's ensure that our support accomplishes more than simply "return fire" in a war over a temporary culture.  This Friday, I'll do my best to use this moment to be kind to people created in God's own image and likeness, work hard at demonstrating the values of God's eternal Kingdom with my actions, and invite people into that Kingdom!

Who knows?  Maybe the lines will be just as long Friday night.  And while I won't stand in line for an hour over a "culture war" issue, I'll stand there all night for the opportunity to extend God's Kingdom on earth!

Its a tough thing to do.  After all, if you want to get yourself into trouble quickly with the hyper-conservative, "culture war" evangelicals, just start spending time with members of the homosexual community.  But ultimately, I'm not interested in following the 21st century equivalent of the Pharisees or the Sadducees.  I want to be where Jesus was.  And I think Chick fil A on a Friday night among a hoard of homosexuals is exactly where He would be!  In fact, its exactly where He WILL be!

So let's do something unconventional...something thoroughly Biblical this Friday night.  Support a great company and invite some new friends into the Kingdom!  That's a win-win!