As with all on line discussion groups for ex Jehovah’s Witnesses, a variety of views about God and religion can stir up strong emotions. We encourage members in our Meetup to be honest about their doubts and to share what they’ve been led to explore in matters of faith without fear of being reprimanded. That means ALL views are welcome.
We are a support group and not a church, therefore, our Meetup has no mission statement of adherence to one particular belief. However, we do have several Christians in our group and it’s no surprise that divisions on certain topics form even among us. As in the Church itself, there are always members more vocal about the differences than others. Some to the point of accusing the other party of not really being a Christian unless they agree on some pet view. What if instead of drawing lines between our personal preferences, we honored the kernel of truth we share?
This, of course, lead me into some deep and profound philosophy on popcorn. Happens to all of us, right?
What if this were not about those who profess a love for Christ, but rather a love for popcorn? Let’s substitute the Church for a club of popcorn lovers. We are united in our love for popcorn. As we get to know one another, we discover that we each prepare ours a bit differently. So the group divides into those who eat microwave popcorn and those who shake it up on the stove. Oh, and then there’s those “other people” that go to extremes by getting an air popper and gasp! let’s not even speak about the Jiffy Pop crowd. But wait there’s more! It’s not just how you pop it, there are divisions forming between those who melt butter on theirs and those who don’t! A myriad of denominations form among the popcorn lovers.
I’ll tell you the truth of what goes on in my house. Feel free to include your confessions also. I keep some microwave stuff on hand in the summer for when we’ve got guests out in our “man cave” because there’s a microwave but no stove, plus it’s convenient. Otherwise, I don’t buy the stuff. I have a stove top popper for the house and that’s how I usually take my popcorn. I toss in my oil and corn and crank the handle and in a few minutes I have a bowl of popcorn. And what a bowl it is! It’s red and white striped with the word “popcorn” on it. I must have my bowl. I don’t use butter, but I generously sprinkle on flavored salt… and I’m really into flavored salt because I have 4 different varieties right now.
I was presented with a new dilemma whether to melt butter or not when I received the gift of an air popper from a friend. I discovered that with no oil used to pop the corn, the salt just didn’t stick. With the air popper there’s less mess to clean and I could see how it would be handy in making larger quantities, so I like having it on hand, but I still prefer my stove top method.
So what’s my point? Well, I just named 3 different ways one person can pop their corn. Microwave it, stove top it, or air pop it. I’ve tried all three, PLUS I have tasted the extravagant indulgence of Jiffy Pop once or twice so make that four. Gosh, I’m so open minded aren’t I? But now that I have confessed that I prefer popping my corn on the stove top, does that mean I do not recognize the value of the other methods? If I’ve confessed my preference for the stove top method, is that cause to separate from me or accuse me of condemning microwave popcorn? If my air popper goes unused for months, but I keep it on hand for that one occasion I need a large amount of popped corn, am I sticking my nose up at the percentage of people who use an air popper on a regular basis?
When did popcorn get so complicated?
Christianity was so simple when the unity was about loving Jesus Christ and maintaining the gospel of His life, death and resurrection. As I met my brothers and sisters within the Church, I was EXCITED to be among more lovers of HIM and not that bothered by our differences. Instead, I was refreshed by realizing we didn’t all have to pop our corn the same way as I had been required to in order to be a Jehovah’s Witness in good standing.
As I grew in Christ, I worshiped alongside others knowing that our unity was Christ Himself, not the other “flavors” we each preferred within our faith. I never condemned anyone for using an air popper while I popped my corn on the stove. The end result was always popcorn anyway. But among popcorn lovers and Christians, the sad truth is, there’s always some people who insist their way is best and unless you join the ranks of the microwave popcorn eaters, you’re really not a popcorn lover at all are you?
Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie