It was a Monday night - “Christian Skate Night,” as they called it. This was the night when all the teens who listened to nothing but Christian music, did not cuss, were not sexually deviant, and always made it home in time for curfew got together to roller skate. This was that "on fire for Christ" group of kids who were abounding in love, grace, and mercy towards all mankind - except Guns 'N Roses fans.

The soundtrack for the evening?  Stephen Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Carman, and DC Talk, of course.  Oh, wait… there were a handful of girls in our youth group who got pregnant in their teens, so ignore the “not sexually deviant” part.  You had a few “couples skate” songs, a Hokie Pokie, and a birdie dance that all the popular Christians participated in.  Meanwhile, the “emo Christian kids,” who were too cool for school, fasted and prayed as hard as they could with the hope that some MxPx would blare into the skating rink.

Every now and again, you had some poor knucklehead show up to “Christian Skate Night” hoping to smoke outside, cuss leisurely, and hear some Snoop Doggie Dogg.  Tonight was the night when this one person stuck out like a sore thumb.

He.  Was.  Wearing.  A.  Guns.  ‘N.  Roses.  SHIRT.  OMG (that terminology didn’t even exist back then).

A girl in our youth group said something along the lines of, “I just want to tell that kid to just leave.  This is Christian skate night and obviously he isn’t a Christian.”

So, let’s get this straight:

  1. This unbeliever CAME to where the CHRISTIANS were.  We didn’t even have to go where HE WAS and yet, she wanted him to leave because of his attire?

  2. She assumed this person wasn’t a Christian because of a band he listened to or shirt he was wearing, making salvation about works and appearances,  not about Jesus.

  3. She obviously deserved to be at “Christian Skate Night” because of her “good works.”

Sure, we may think this is funny, but take a deep look – this is no laughing matter.  Why did this girl act this way?

She was taught to act this way, that’s why.

My church’s teachings were way more about “getting right with God,” “doing things the right way,” and “get right or get left” than it was about the facts that:

  1. Jesus made you right with God.

  2. Jesus did things the right way so you didn’t have to have that pressure on you (remember “Come to me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”? [Matthew 11:28]).

  3. Since you have been made right with God (through Jesus) you don’t have to worry about Him leaving or forsaking you.

“But even if we or an angel from heaven preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse,” (Galatians 1:8).

I think it’s noteworthy that the same girl who was likely applauded by her friends for taking a stand against secular music and the unhealthy intermixing of Christians with unbelievers is no longer living for Jesus, and she has wandered away from the truth of the gospel.  She was taught a lie.

No one thrives under the law, because it brings death.  How have we gone so far from the truth?