theolog shmeolog

Lookin’ fer a Faaight…

I was manning the booth our Church had at the Hudsonville Fair last week when I was approached by one of the vendors in the building. This person’s booth had 666 “secrets” banners, other references signs, banners, brochures and books referring to the mark of the beast, and other prophetic issues. The person’s shirt sported a (homemade?) ribbon announcing “Author.”

After greetings were exchanged, I was asked how it was going for us. I said we had had the opportunity for some spiritual/Gospel conversations with the people walking by. Then this question was posed to me: “any arguments?” I replied that I generally do not get into a lot of arguments with people at the Fair. Whereupon, my booth guest proceeded to try to start an argument with me; attempting to get me into a discussion about eschatology, and the other matters which were emblazoned on the banners, books & brochures at the Author’s booth. This comment, or something like it was made to me: “it’s amazing to me how settled people can be about their view of end-times to the point that they will not want to hear your viewpoint on the matter.”

I said “yup.”

The person kept trying to start something, but (as much as I like a good argument) I wasn’t buying.

After some more tries, my would-be foil gave up and went to patrolling the aisles of the building we were in. Every time I overheard the Author in a conversation with others, my booth visitor was red-faced, and quite vehement about something.

I wondered how many times I was perceived this way by others–be they believers or unbelievers. The whole thing has given me pause.

Can we purpose to hold our (non-Gospel) convictions with some kind of charity without pugnaciousness? It’s not that we cannot discuss them, but think about it, is focusing on our favorite conviction all we ever do when we speak with others? (Dave’s post about obsessiveness seems apropos.)

Admittedly, as soon as I was asked “any arguments?” it  reminded me of a famous comedy sketch, and I began giggling inside: (I’ll leave it to you to find it…) How often in our rightness (especially on secondary doctrines) do we resemble this?

“Is this where I come for an argument?”

“I’ve told you once…”

“…Look, this isn’t an argument!”

“Yes it is”

“No it isn’t. It’s just contradiction!”

“No it is not.”

“Yes it is. You just contradicted me.”

“No I didn’t”]

“Oh, you did”

“No, no, no, no, no, no no!”

“You did, just then.”

“No, nonsense.”

“Oh, look–this is futile.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“I came here for a good argument.”

“No you didn’t. You came here for an argument.”

“Well, an argument’s not the same as contradiction.”

“Can be.”

“No it can’t…” etc.

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