OK: I’m talking about BA here. Full disclosure. I’d prefer BA, if you are reading, that you’d just listen to your new friends here, and let us talk, but doubt you’ll be able to thus restrain/control yourself… Sigh: such is life.
But it has occurred to me that, in BA’s mind anyway, he comes to evangelize us. Imagine: this man, and all his, well, “stuff”, comes into our noble world and presumes to evangelize US!!! Hey: Don’t we ALREADY love the Christ, and proudly claim His name, and our salvation therefrom?? (JeffA has, himself, expressed warmth for the Christ who will redeem all… and I do not take kindly to BA’s insult of JeffA at all; I’m repulsed by his comment…) Isn’t it WE who claim to be “Evangelical”?? (in the name of this site at least) Yet HE believes he has been sent from above – to teach and evangelize US!!
Oh my. The evangelizers evangelized. Who’da thunk it…
Well… I’m stumped. But I do recall that the transformative and singular turning point in MY life of coming to the Christ (‘cept BA doesn’t think I deserve that title…. again, sigh) was via a NEGATIVE example. That is, I came to Christ upon looking deep into the life of one who rebelled against God in ways I had not thought possible… So, maybe (just maybe??) I am to welcome BA as just such an example; a negative one.
First off; Lord, if my witness to you has EVER come across as BA does here, forgive me. Forgive BA too; for he knows not what he does.
But really now my fellow EU participants: how does it REALLY make you feel to be the OBJECT of evangelism? Does it anger you? make you “bristle” just a wee bit? (it sure does me!!) Make you think, in a really strange kind of sanctified disgust; what! – YOU teach ME?? You have GOT to be kidding!!!
And yet, when you think about it, isn’t that the exact dynamic WE assume whenever we (here, or in our personal invisible-to-this-site-lives) forge ahead to defend the faith and the grace of our savior? When YOU talk to someone about spiritual realities, don’t YOU assume and believe that YOU have something to offer this person with whom YOU interact?? I hope you say yes; ‘cause I sure do.
Which brings up the word/idea of arrogance. BA has it – in spades!! (Obviously BA lacks that self-insight, nor, I’m seeing now, would he allow himself to see it….) But is it possible God has brought him to our fellowship to tell us that maybe WE TOO have similar tendencies?? (My God the rebukes of the Father can be painful – to say nothing of embarrassing – if that is in fact what this is…) What I so respect and love about the mindset of everyone here, is that we retain the healthy self-skepticism that we too operate in that realm where we might be victims of delusion and self deception. My God; even Tom Talbott and Gregory M – those graceful and brilliant men – embrace and embody this mindset! We ALL recognize, respectfully, (more apparent with some than others! ) that we might be wrong. THIS, almost more than anything else, is what makes this site so credible for me… (so thank you everybody)
So clearly, BA “does” evangelism in ways that I abhor. Can I, nonetheless, ask God to BLESS this, his flawed (my opinion) witness? Oh my: that hurts. God has a track record of using the VERY flawed as His messengers. We all see BA’s flaws; do we see our own??
All I’m asking here is that we consider what our witness for Christ – I’ve NO doubt that the love of our Christ animates EVERY ONE of us – LOOKS like to the outside world. This is incredibly sobering stuff. In my estimation, BA shows us quite precisely how it should NOT be done; might similar flaws exist in MY witness?? Again, these are painful questions that I simply MUST ask myself. It’s far too easy to just brush BA off; sincere, dogmatic, and, speaking for myself only, incredibly annoying.
From my section of the porch, the God of BA looks abhorrent; yet here we are and others might find MY vision of God just as abhorrent. And from my section of the porch, it appears that BA embodies the epitome of a blasphemer: he presumes he alone is able to interpret scripture. (hey wait; did God bring BA here to help US – or maybe the other way around?? ouch – getting a headache. Pour me a drink JeffA!!)
In sum, the flaws of BA are too egregious to even enumerate here; what I ask though, is that we quietly listen for the message, dislike the delivery as we do, that he brings with all his bluster and vigor and exaggerated sense of self assurance; a message he may not even be aware he is delivering. We love the messages of the cultivated and soothing messenger; love less the message when delivered by one such as our brother in Christ, BA…
Just think about it. Not sure I really plan to respond and say anything more on this – if that’s OK with y’all…