Shortly after the University of North Alabama downsized me, BJ and I were offered a tag-team type of job selling collegiate furniture. It was an interesting job, to say the least. I didn’t really know the first thing about furniture, but we believe it was really BJ and her very long list of contacts they mostly wanted anyway. For the most part, I enjoyed it.
However, it was during this time that I spent a lot of time on the road traveling from University to University, in the tri-state area of Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. My travel partner was one of the VPs of the company; a man younger than me who knew a lot about the furniture. As so much of the time was spent traveling, we spent a great deal of time in conversation. He was a devout member of the Church of Christ, and I was fresh off a religious conversion in 2000 (Southern Baptist for those of you with a scorecard).
Now I happen to be one of those who think that most of the folks who call themselves “Christian,” aren’t. [I think it was Billy Graham that said 80% of the people in churches are unsaved] And I don’t get too terribly worked up about the different flavors. Yeah, I think it’s silly the Church of Christ won’t have musical instruments in their churches (but they’ll turn that radio on quickly!), but I don’t think that’s a deal-breaker with God.
I DO think there are some deal-breakers; a core set of beliefs that all those under the “Christian” umbrella should believe. Things like Mary being a virgin, Jesus physically dying AND rising again, etc. Most of the “Christian” religions believe these things.
I don’t, however, think it really matters if a Christian is a pre-trib, post-trib, during-trib…I just don’t think it matters that much. One of the things that I have a tendency to believe that my fellow “Christians” don’t is the idea of predestination: that God picked out everyone who’s going to heaven in the beginning. Yes, I realize that most Southern Baptists don’t believe this—but I’m okay with that—it doesn’t fall on that list of “core” ideas.
But my Church of Christ employer couldn’t grasp the concept of my belief. It wasn’t just that he didn’t agree with it, it didn’t make sense to him how “I” could believe. His major concern, as I recall it, was why do Pre-destiners even bother with sharing the Word and attempting to spread the Gospel. If God has them all picked out, why waste my time talking about it.
To me, however, the answer is simple: Because God told us to do so. Just because I think God’s got it all worked out doesn’t mean I can simply stop doing what He says. It seemed—and still seems—like a no-brainer to me: God says it, so I do it (or at least attempt to do it)…pretty cut and dried.
He never did understand what I was trying to say…but we had many very good looooong conversations about it all and I very much enjoyed them!