(Warning: Rant Ahead)
Several days ago I found myself in a rather strange conversation. I was taking advantage of the pool/spa in our new community and met Rikki, a middle aged woman, and Derrik a 30 something I had previously struck up a conversation with.
Rikki and I were talking about “church” and how she feels that professional clergy make for lazy Christians (her words) as Pastors do all the work. Having been a pastor, I related to her comment. Then Derrik came over having become interested in what we were talking about. I knew that the conversation was about to get interesting as Derrik was not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination.
In a subsequent conversation I learned that his mother has been a devote of Ramptha since the late 1980’s and that he tends to be a Christian Gnostic in his viewpoint on Christ. (JZ. Knight’s compound is located about 8 miles from where we live. If you watched “What the #$*! Do We Know!?,” you have seen her.)
The stage was set for an interesting encounter of view points. Given that we were talking about “Spiritual things” I asked Derrik what he believed. After a few minutes of talking, Rikki’s response to what he believes told me that she was thoroughly indoctrinated in our typical “American Brand” of Christianity.
Her comments immediately dismissed his POV while her method pushed him to make a “decision for Jesus” in the conversation. (She had not even asked his name yet!) As Derrik shared what he believed, Rikki countered with what I would call the standard evangelical apologetic.
I can’t tell you how many times she used terms like, “Let me challenge you” … “Yes, but the Bible says” … “Do you know Jesus?” . . . “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship” . . . "Jesus is my GOD" . . . and so on. SHE NEVER LISTENED TO HIM or acknowledged what he said.!.
Rikki appeared to make no attempt to enter a real dialog with him. She just kept grinding her theological axe at every opportunity.
It was like watching a Used Car Salesman working their SALES PITCH to persuade some poor slob into buying a car. Where do you enter into a mutual relationship when your agenda is centered on getting someone to say “the sinner’s prayer?”
Is this what our churches produce? Someone who knows how to object to divergent points of view while totally failing to relate to the person they are talking at. Who taught her this approach?
My GOD . . . is this what discipleship has become? Is this the method of CHRIST? Where is the love?
I just sat back in silence and let her go as I could not get a word in edge-wise. When there was a lull, I’d try to bridge the language gap between her modernist and his postmodern view point. It did not work. A more common ground for dialog could not be reached with Rikki arguing her apologetic. After a time I gradually exited the “conversation” and decided to talk with Derrik later on.
Meanwhile, Rikki just blindly kept parrying with her methodology and never left the adversarial line of “Challenges” she had been taught to use in a situation like this. How blind are the guides she follows?
Would you rather be right or develop a redemptive relationship?
Now here is where it gets rather ironic. Derrik began asking questions of Rikki in an attempt to get to know her better. He never once countered what she said she believed with an apologetic of his own. I like his style!
I found the lack of honest exchange rather frustrating.(Hence my rant) I must admit that I was almost embarrassed to call myself a Christian in the context of Rikki’s "Christian diatribe."
Rikki is a neat person but that was totally eclipsed in her quest to convert Derrik.
Enough of this RANT against a style of gospel presentation that annoys me.