Saturday, April 11, 2009

Deborah Drapper (part 2)

We watched all six parts of the one-hour BBC documentary on Deborah Drapper. I encourage all of you to watch them as well. To make it easier, here are the links to part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

We found this video really interesting and even inspiring. Some things that struck us are:
1. We could think that this girl is a little over-the-top, and weird, but I was impressed because she is only thirteen, and so sure of her convictions and zealous for what she believes.
2. I was impressed by her single-mindedness and obvious love for Jesus.
3. She was obviously living as one who has 'eternity in her heart'
4. I was also impressed by the parents. For example, in the discussion on home-schooling, the father talked about how much there was that he and his wife wanted to teach the children, but if they went to school and then to tuitions and other activities, they would be away from early morning to late in the evening. He asked how it would be possible to train the children to love Jesus and live for Him if they were being brought up by the State.
5. When the interviewer asked him what he wanted to train his children for, he replied, "For eternity." That is not the reply I would have thought of. I would have said something about them learning to be independent and able to fend for themselves in this world, educated and able to do well professionally, etc, with some mention about them coming to love Jesus and live for Him. His answer is actually much more important, because, as Rick Warren says, the whole purpose of life on earth is to prepare us for eternity.
6. I was impressed at the quality of the family-prayers.
7. I was also impressed that BBC merely reported, without offering their opinion or viewpoint.

I know Deborah Drapper is young and has a long way to grow. I pray that she may be kept in humility and a right spirit, and that God may continue to be glorified in her life


Anugrah said...

Just watched the videos... read her blog too.
That girl is very impressive and is on one helluva journey (pun intended)...!!!
I would have to strongly agree with all of Pradeep's observations.
But on the other hand... I see in those videos a lot of what I now believe to be dangerous in my evangelical upbringing.
We grew up believing that we're supposed to get all our friends/acquaintances to say the sinner's prayer and then they're saved. And we'd learn all the strategies to do that...
Those delightfully simple tracts with those sketches with the chasms...
For a 13 year old to understand her faith and to share it with her friends... thats cool... but unfortunately most of us dont grow out of that!
We conveniently leave love out in the cold while we're busy about our business.
Jesus was never pre-occupied with hell unlike the scary Sunday-school teacher trying to get all the kids saved!
I cringed when I heard people's responses to Deborah on the video... they weren't receiving no love or acceptance... just a whole lot of condemnation...
And thats not Deborah's fault... its our faulty theology!
Jesus hung out with the drunks, smokers, clubbers, etc... Deborah was and most of us evangelicals are so uncomfortable with such people.
The part I found funniest was when Deb's brother was enjoying himself dancing at the club... and then all of a sudden, "I kissed a girl" by Katy Perry started playing... and like a good christian boy he stopped dancing coz he didn't agree with the words. Cute! I cringe to think I may have done that as a teenager... now, thats one of my fav. songs.
My prayer for Deborah and for all of us really... is that we would grow daily in God's love.

Pradeep said...

Like all humans, we also tend to swing from one extreme to the other...much like the pendulum. Usually wisdom is found somewhere in the middle.

For example, as evangelical kids, we can react to the extreme evangelicalism of our Sunday school teachers, church and family, and throw out the baby with the bathwater. We stop telling anybody about Jesus, and start talking more about our lives witnessing to others, and loving them, etc.

The truth is - proclamation of the Gospel, and living it out in everyday life should go on side by side.

We cannot get around the fact that Jesus did say He was The Way, The Truth and The Life. He was being exclusive, and politically incorrect. He also did talk about hell, and the fact that there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth there, topics that have fallen out of fashion today.

In defence of Deborah, the people who heard 'condemnation' from her on this video, were people who felt they were basically good. They received an honest assessment of their goodness in the light of the ten commandments. The Pharisees in Jesus day also heard a number of condemnatory things from Him. The ones who acknowledged that they were sinners, like the prostitutes and publicans, received love and acceptance. They were welcomed home for dinner. The 'good' ones received harsh words of rebuke.

I agree there appeared to be too much preoccupation with hell. I think the proclamation of the gospel should lead to people falling in love with Jesus. I think that is possible when they realise how much He loves them, and that He was willing to take their punishment for their sin.

Only those who acknowledge they are sinners can accept that they are liable for some punishment and that they need to be saved. The 'good' ones do not need a Saviour. Most of us Christians also keep patting them on the back and making them feel comfortable. Perhaps the pendulum has swung too much in the opposite direction.