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You hate mush??!!!

Mike Schilling

That's all very interesting, Lance, but the real question is "Are you saved?".


You know, people often give Jehovah's Witnesses a bad rap for coming to your door and bugging you about their church - but I have found that they respond quite politely to statements of uninterest. I can't say the same for the "Are you saved?" people.

Sometimes reminding them that faith is a matter between you and the Lord and that no one can force true faith on a person works. Sometimes.


A few years ago, I was stuck in customs hell coming back from Japan, and one of these guys saw me as a good target. He asked if he was saved, and I came back with, "I appreciate the spirit behind your question, and thanks for caring. I'm more than willing to talk religion with you, but the state of my soul is between myself and god. Is that cool?"

And we ended up having a pretty decent conversation about the relief work he was doing in Asia.


In all my airport time I don't remember the Hare Krishnas attempting to save my soul. Ring annoying bells, yes; proselytize, no.


I cannot say in a space this short how much I agree with what you've written above. One of the things that's relived me -- filled me with actual relief -- about moving to Australia is that I haven't had to deal with random people sticking their nose into the state of my eternal soul. And I came from Portland, the most urban place in Oregon, the most unchurched state in the nation. (I'm kind of perversely proud of that, as a believer myself.) I can't even imagine what it must be like in other places.

I've told this story in another space, I know -- maybe even here -- but I think it's a nice tell about the contrasts. Some time ago, my wife and I went to a friend's house to watch a rugby match. When the match was over (and, of course, our side had won, ha ha, sweet revenge for last year) they were doing the postgame interviews with the stars, as they always do, you know.

And when that was done, I looked at my wife and her friend and mentioned how weirdly nice it was not to hear anyone talking about Jesus in a postgame interview.

They (Aussies born and bred both) stared at me. They actually chorused "Jesus doesn't have anything to do with football!"

Nobody here talks about Jesus here unless it's actually pertinent to the conversation. We have a few crazy street preachers, but besides them. It's... really quite nice.


As an addendum to my post above, I will mention the time one of two busybodies out to Convert Souls for Jesus cornered my wife one day on her way home from work. She mentioned she was a Quaker. She almost had Busybody #1 converted to the Society of Friends before Busybody #2 noticed, panicked, and dragged him away.


Dear Lord,

I've been asked that question from my childhood, when I did not even know what the question meant. My response as a child was to nod, stay away from the person and complain to my mother who would ask me to just be polite and not mind it. Growing up in India, it was usually the Assembly of God people who asked this question.

We do have a lot of AG friends back in India, so the response still is to just nod politely and try to steer the conversation in safer directions. Nothing is more infuriating than the sad glances you get and the conversations that imply that you have 'strayed'.

My closest aunts and their children are all fervent believers, (one cousin's an AG priest) and I've had to endure plenty of prayers calling for God to bring my mother back to the fold as one would say, with me present right there. (No one would dare do it with my mother around) and I am sure there were prayers for me too. :D And my mother is no atheist or Catholic either, she just is not as fervent as them.

Another variation on this was the 'Are you Born Again' question that was to plague me in Missouri. My stock answer was 'I was born a Christian' and the same polite smile in the hope that the person who asked me this would move on. The pain started when they did not take the hint.

Your post just stirred up the 'bad' memories from my time in an AG flock back in MO. :-).


Six years ago, between the separation and the divorce, I chanced to date a rather lovely lady whom I met online thru a dating site.

We went out to drinks near Madison Square Park, in a bar/restaurant just off the northeast corner of the park, Lovely sunny afternoon, late Spring as I recall.

I met her there, and my anxiety about these things disappated quickly: she was as her photo implied.

We took seats at the bar and ordered wine, first a glass, then a bottle, then appetizers. We talked, and laughed, about popular culture, the embarassing way we met, this and that, and the bartender who was rather remarkable in a sort of "My Left Foot" sort of fashion, seemingly able to do the impossible with the burdens God had granted him (a thoroughly incompetent waitstaff, for one).

An hour passed, then two, and we kissed at the bar. Ah, the signal. We gathered our things, and I walked her to the corner, prepared to actually have a warm body next to me that night. Visions danced in my head: the listing in the Sunday Times Style section of our impeding nuptials, the obligatory, "Congratulations, Carl! You have my sympathies, Patty!" introductions...

A cab appeared out of the gloaming, the yellow the only brightness in an otherwise dull stone vista.

I opened the door for her, gentleman that I am. She turned to me and asked, "Have you taken Jesus into your heart."

I slammed the door and ran.


PS no need to grade that, Lance. I would give myself a "C" for grammar and syntax.

Michael Bartley

Late to this post...but have to tell Lance, Falstaff and actor212 that I am still laughing. "Jesus doesn't have anything to do with football" Now, that is funny. Actor212 slamming the door reminds me of the old song Pamela Brown, "I guess I owe it all to Pamela Brown all of my good times all my messin' around..." Anyway, great post great comments. "...doesn't have anything to do with football" Can't wait for the games this weekend to see if Jesus will make the post-game.

Jon H

I often get the feeling that they're playing some kind of Holy Bingo. Or that they've misunderstood the idea of Christ the Redeemer by thinking they can collect souls and turn them in to collect the deposits.

It's like a kind of greed.

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