There is a small shop run by a Christian. He was always enthusiastic in his faith expressions. Always, Christian songs would be played. Some Christian literature is always stacked in his shop. The New Testament is given to those who ask him. In his local church also, he is an active member. One early morning there was commotion in his shop. The joyful shopkeeper was visibly angry and was shouting at a woman. “You widow, don’t come early in the morning. I do not want you as my first customer. It is inauspicious.” This man had an external display of religion but did not have any transformation that comes through the gospel.
1) Lack of Bible knowledge: God whom we worship is ‘defender of widows.’ (Psalms 146:9) Hence, His people were expected to protect and provide for widows. James defined true spirituality as: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)
2) Church History: The man did not know the history of the church. Pandit Rama Bai fought for dignity and rights of widows. William Carey fought the heinous practice called sati of burning the widows along with the corpses of their husbands.
3) Culture or Scripture: The shop owner was a Christian in all his external displays. However, he was not transformed in his worldview, thoughts and attitude. Superstitious society considers a widow as a demon or demon-possessed that swallowed her husband. Hence, the hapless woman is ostracized, mocked, marginalized, deprived and even driven out of home.
One senior mission leader said he never attends marriages as he is not treated with dignity as a widower. People come and invite at his home, but he is treated differently when he goes to the venue of marriage.
The shopkeeper could have demonstrated to the world the gospel values by inviting a few widows to come as first customers every morning.
Do I follow the Scripture or the culture in my daily life?