Today I wasn’t feeling so hot. I somehow got a sinus infection so I went to get my medicine and decided to stop off at Target for some organic snack stuff because I didn’t feel like cooking.
I should tell you that I love pens. I’m an office supply freak. I couldn’t just walk by the stationery aisle without looking at the pens and Sharpie markers and other colorful delights. Like neon colored Post-It notes. That aisle of temptation is where I met my stalker walking opposite towards me.
She was merely a girl. A young girl. I should have known better than to make eye contact. I did. I thought she wanted to get by me.
Nope. She glowed with the aura of a True Believer. She smiled at me. I couldn’t stop my face from smiling back. There was nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. That is when she pounced.
I should preface this by saying my longtime readers will understand I have my own faith that I am quite secure in. I also have two degrees in English Literature and Theology, with a concentration in Religious Studies. While education may not be the sum of faith it sure helps to know your Bible. Which came in handy because this girl was about to drop some Secret, Special Knowledge on me.
“Do you know about the Bible as the Word of God?” she asked beaming with a positively beatific expression on her face.
“Why yes. I am quite familiar with the Bible,” I responded. It was like pouring gasoline onto a fire.
“Oh…well…I’m sure you don’t know about the hidden Word of God in the creation of Man,” she replied smugly.
Hidden word of God? I thought. Now I was intrigued. Let’s see where this goes.
Noting my interested expression she proceeded to enlighten me that theology schools didn’t have the Secret Special Knowledge (herein known as SSK). Neither did any church. “Except mine,” she finished triumphantly.
Uh oh. Now I knew we were in for it. Only her church has this SSK. Hm. Cult? Red flag No 1.
“God gave our pastor and only our pastor this SSK. Would you like to see it?
Oh boy would I! She opened her Bible app to Genesis 1:26:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
With a conspiratorial look she got very close to me and she whispered “Let US. US. God wasn’t alone in creating man! Nobody knows this! Nobody teaches this! Who is us?
I suggested “Angels?” She scoffed. “Do you really think God let angels help Him create man?”
I didn’t see why not and this is something scholars debate but as I had tossed that out there for fun, I thought it wise to not respond. I took another stab at it.
“Us is God and the Trinity? At this she started.
“How did you know that?”
“I learned that in theology school,” I said gently.
“No! Impossible! ” She started grilling me on Bible Knowledge and trying to correct me by saying I was not as familiar with the Bible as I thought because God frowns on education and only teaches through the Holy Spirit. And only her church had this Secret Special Knowledge, remember. Suddenly she said I didn’t know the Bible in the same way she did. The girl was trying to spiritually gaslight me to make me doubt myself and my faith.
By this time I’d had enough and politely excused myself.
It is to me rude to try to convert somebody when they are minding their own business but I get that these types are trying to follow the Great Commission so I can forgive that. But nobody and nobody has Secret Special Knowledge and shouldn’t claim to in order to take advantage of someone else’s ignorance of Scripture and theology.
I spent the rest of the time in the store dodging the Girl with the Special Knowledge and her friend who tried very hard to corral others to share this Secret Special Knowledge and no doubt try to strongarm somebody to come to church.
I don’t think I’m the only one who gets annoyed with this and annoyed with the idea that someone else couldn’t possibly be happy with their faith and they must be converted to yours. God likes us to be an example to others to show Him to others. He doesn’t expect us to weasel or wrassle people to the ground and smack them with the Bible over and over as if you are a child who knows nothing. Scripturally He most certainly does not want people to offend others to the point they want nothing to do with Him or Christians.
Be ever mindful of how you approach people, how you bring the Word to others. Please.
The world is a big place. There are other faiths. Let’s respect one another and love one another.