"While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
Mark 2: 15-16
I was an industrial educator. The subject title was industrial arts in which I taught the materials, tools and processes of the construction and manufacturing industry.
I fully well regarded industrial arts, alias shop, to be the most important subject in school. IA was a class in which students learned about the trades or professions of industry. We studied the basics of metals and metalworking, woods, electricity/electronics, engineering and architectural drafting and design.
In many schools, industrial education is a part of a school or department referred to as applied science. Applied sciences also include vocational agriculture and vocational home economics. In industrial education we actually apply the sciences, math, communication skills and even the social studies in a practical way. Students actually witness the application of the academic skills and see a practical application for what they have learned.
Many mistakes have been made by the powers that be in American education, but the eliminating of industrial education has, by far, been the most ridiculous and devastating to the youth of our nation. We are producing an entire generation (actually we are into the second generation) of mechanical and career bound illiterates. Many individuals have become virtually helpless in even the simplest maintenance situations in their own homes and enter the work force without the slightest clue of what various occupations entail.
In my classes, I believed it was imperative to impress on the young minds the importance of making an intelligent and informed career choice. The career selection of a young person is a life forming and determining choice. One's happiness and satisfaction in life is partly determined by where they spend forty hours per week for many years. To choose a vocation in which one does not find satisfaction and happiness, can alter a life in a horrible way for those years.
One difficult subject to deal with, especially with students in a capitalistic society, as is the United States, is potential earnings. I remember extremely well one year I made the statement to a class, "If you think money can't buy happiness, then you've never been to a store and purchased a package of fig newtons."
The following Christmas I received from students and mothers, seventeen packages of fig newtons, beautifully gift wrapped with a Merry Christmas card. The subject of cookies has become a subject for a good belly laugh, at least once every three or four years ever since. I tried it again the next year but it didn't work.
So here we are now in 2019. Because of the technology and information age, cookies have taken on a totally different meaning. Today a cookie is a small text file that is stored in your computer on your hard drive (permanent storage disk) or phone and provides a way for the website (business, scammer, telemarketer, etc.) to keep track of you and your preferences and those products you shop for. In other words, spy on you!
The laws have apparently not kept up with technology and this spying on us is legal but in the minds of many, it is an invasion of privacy. If you are wondering how your computer knows you were looking at a particular product on the internet, and an advertisement pops up on your screen, thank a cookie.
Cookies may contain your personal information that an identity thief could use. If a web site is not secure, hackers can find your information and you are mostly helpless to do anything about it. Never put your personal information anywhere it is not absolutely necessary and then it is best done some way other than cyberspace.
I find it extremely fascinating and devastating that technology has found this method of marketing their products but we as Christians cannot seem to isolate even one doable, provable, useable method of conveying the gospel of our Lord Jesus to a lost world.
In the industrial arts shop we experimented with different methods, materials and techniques. Why do we not exhibit that same curiosity in discovering ways to reach the unchurched? In the industrial arts shop those procedures were an attempt to improve product quality and productivity.
In the arena of Christian witnessing we cannot improve the perfect product, but we for sure can improve our level of productivity. Productivity comes from the word product and is the concept of producing at a greater level of efficiency. Colossians 1: 6a "which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit."
Perhaps we could take a lesson here from the cookie. The key word is "embed." The computer cookie embeds itself into our hard drive.
Mark 2: 17 "On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
We have known and worked with many missionaries, both in country and international. A technique used by many is to embed themselves into a group; social, political, neighborhood, etc. By becoming a part of those groups they begin to influence individuals with the Christian beliefs and utilize these opportunities to win the unchurched to Christ.
Perhaps we could take a lesson from a cookie, no, not a fig newton, an internet cookie. By associating with unchurched people we can get to know them and possibly influence them in a direction of salvation.
Jesus commanded us to "Preach this gospel in all the world." Shouldn't we first be obedient to that command in our own families and social groups? Christ Jesus crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected.