Having been raised in a Pentecostal church, I was very familiar with the lingo and where this guy was going with this conversation. I usually cringe and terminate such exchanges as soon as possible to avoid PTSD from my Pentecostal days but I decided to engage this man in conversation. I mean, I knew the terminology and could carry on but I wasn’t doing it to make fun of or mess with this guy.
“Yes, I do know the Lord. In fact I talk to Him everyday.”
This got him very excited. He continued.
“God is good all the time!”
I countered with: “We have to keep looking up.”
He liked that answered.
I talked with him a few more minutes before I had to go. He seemed to be genuinely excited about the Lord and I wasn’t going to discourage him.
Sure, it can be a bit embarrassing to be around people who talk like this. I still cringe when someone calls another believer “brother” or “sister” because it just sounds a bit too cultish now having been a part of a cult myself.
I remember when I was in the Air Force stationed in Thule Air Base in Greenland that people who were there would either find religion or they would find the bars. There was a fellow airman named Bobby who was hyper-religious. I mean this guy would turn every conversation to the Lord. He did not live in the real world with the rest of us. He lived in a King James Version world. He had an annoying habit of coming around every Sunday and knocking on my door to go to church. At the time, I was working six days a week and Sunday was my only day off and only day I could sleep in. After several Sundays of Bobby knocking on my door, I had finally had enough. I said, “Bobby, I have been in church all of my life and if I wanted to go to church with you then I would so please stop knocking on my door.” He stopped.
Some folks can be a tad zealous about Jesus. Too many times I have seen people who can’t ever find a happy medium with their experience. Either they are super excited about the Lord or they are totally super secret about their experience. I have also seen folks who only “know the Lord” and start going to church when they are in trouble or need help. I remember one lady who would start coming back to church and sitting in the front only when her child was back in jail again. I have seen others who plaster their Facebook posts with endless posts about Jesus.
I wonder sometimes if the Lord gets embarrassed about how we handle our relationship with Him. I wonder if He sighs and rolls His eyes at some of our zealous antics. Unfortunately some folks give the Lord a bad rap.
I can talk about this because I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I have been the Jesus freak and I have also been the hyper critical one with a suspicious eye on the motives of others.
It’s easy to blow off the Christians. I don’t even like to use the term “Christian” anymore. When I went on a tour to Israel many years ago, our guide said that most people use the term “believer” instead. I like that term. I am a believer. That’s just my preference. I’m not saying others are wrong. When I left the church, I was determined to put away the cultish things.
Yes, I know the Lord and I talk to Him at some point everyday but I’m not going to force Him on anyone. I try to be respectful of everyone and their beliefs. I mean if I’m asked my opinion, I will tell you but I’m not going to preach at you. I know people don’t agree with me but I’m not going to be a hater. I will pray for you but I’m not going to lay hands on you and speak some kind of weird language over you. I’m just going to be me. That’s all I know to be.
I’m not afraid to tell you about the Lord but I’m not going to embarrass Him either.