Gimme Dat Ol’ Time Religion!

I met a man yesterday who was…well, let’s just say he was interesting, but disturbing.  I was waiting for my wife while she was having her eyes examined.  The man started the conversation by telling me that he was an “ordained Baptist preacher.”  I asked him where he ministered, and he said that he was retired.  From that point on the conversation deteriorated, because he then launched into a prolonged litany of seemingly everything that he hated and that turned out to be plenty!

His voice gradually morphed from a mild and friendly tone into an old fashioned, deep-south revivalist, and the longer he spoke the more the volume increased.  The topics of his rage were diverse, but he began by telling me, “there are some mean people in churches.”  My error was to remark in return, “But, there are some genuinely sweet folks too.”  I think that was about the last full sentence I managed.

He spoke at length about those “liberal, contemporary kinda churches, with their hippity-hop, rock and roll music,” how much he hated that style of church, and how sure he was that, “God doesn’t like it either.”  The only positive remarks he made during the entire “conversation” was that the church he attends now was a “southern gospel” only church, and that his preacher wasn’t afraid to preach about “the Blood,” almost every Sunday.  He also just could not figure out why “them black people would want to go to a white church.”  “I don’t mean no harm now, mind ya….they just don’t worship the same way we do, so why don’t they just go to their church and let white people go to ours?”  Almost without missing a breath, he eagerly said that he was “a God-fearing Republican” and he didn’t know how anyone could be a Christian and have voted for “Obammer” and the Democrats.

My smile must have revealed my cynicism toward his remarks, because he began to lean forward in his chair toward me as if intent on convincing me of his correctness.  I quickly and quietly interjected, “Well, you probably wouldn’t like my church.”  Whoops!  “Why not?” he asked.  So I told him about Lifepoint Church.  How we wanted the “people nobody else wanted,” and that our worship was very contemporary, diverse and that there were many young people attending.  Then I said, “Over a four year period there have been over 500 people pray to recieve Christ as their Savior,” and that I was encouraged that many of them were young, college aged people. (Now this is when I wanted to find something to hit this guy with.)  To this his only remark was, “Yeah well, its them college kids that elected that ‘Obammer,’ so you can have ’em.”

I’m not sure whether I was thankful at that point that my wife emerged from her appoinment or if I’m sorry about it.  I’m sure my face was getting redder by the moment and I had so many things I wanted to say.  As I turned to leave all I said was, “Well, god bless you and you have a nice day.”  That was what came out of my mouth.  What was on my mind was, “Mister, please….PLEASE don’t tell anyone…EVER that your a Christian!”  I’m glad I didn’t because frankly today, I’m left thinking that nothing he said was any more offensive than what I failed to say.


3 Responses to “Gimme Dat Ol’ Time Religion!”

  1. March 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I just surfed over here from Jeff Kapusta’s blog.

    I love this post. I don’t mean that it’s lighthearted or happy or joyous. I just mean that you wrote it really well.

    I hate conversations like that. I find them tense and awkward and so annoyingly useless. You handled it gracefully and graciously and got out unscathed…I think.

    There’s that initial spark when you find out someone else is a believer (the same spark, perhaps, that you might have as you read this comment from someone you’ve never heard of before?), that you have something significant and deep and eternal in common.

    …and then you find out about each other’s “narrow” viewpoints (that is, any viewpoint where you don’t agree with me, which must mean that you’re narrow, because, heck, I’m right!).

    I think there may be a great irony in the location, though. I was waiting for your punchline: “I see people, but they look like trees walking…”

  2. 2 Eddie Williams
    March 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks Jeff! Glad you surfed over. The encounter was a real “eye-opener” for me!

  3. March 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Wow. Yeah You did write it really well. It’s crazy that there are more Christians out there than not that are way more offensive, racist and prejudiced than even a non-Christian! That’s why we have to keep being the change and making more so we outnumber the squeaky wheel, judgmental “bull horn people”. And love them too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

March 2010
« Feb   Apr »

%d bloggers like this: