Another memory surfaced, and it was spurred by a recent on-flight conversation. Many years back, I remember a “Jack-Mormon” doing some work in a house I owned – at the time. He was an affable guy, smoked a cigarette with my roommate and accepted a can of beer. Talked about his wife, his two years in the field as a missionary, and how he liked many aspects of his church. Just not all, but he was cool with that. He did a much better job of spreading a good word about his faith than the guys wearing ties while on bicycles, the ubiquitous Mormon Missionaries.
On a recent flight, I struck up a conversation with a guy riding next to me. Aquarius, not that it matters. He explained, in a very short time, his beliefs about his work. If it was a longer flight, I would’ve gotten around to the part about how he got his calling. Never did figure that out.
However, the rest of the conversation was excellent. Here I was, next to a Christian Missionary, or, as I got to understand it, a Jack-Baptist. He was smooth, evangelical without being overbearing. There’s a line in my fine print., “You are choosing to receive this information,” and then something else, but I was intensely interested. He meandered off course a little with business talk, but his business is tied to the church – perhaps without being intertwined.
It’s about people with zeal. A bright spark that burns with a white-hot intense flame that never cools off. There’s a purity of spirit there, too. I’m a little worried when someone banters around the term “gospel” and the name of the lord, or the son of god, all that stuff, but this man was smooth, tactful and sincere. The best hook for someone like me? He could read original sources. Greek and, I think Aramaic. Okay, I can listen to that.
One point he made was how the the gospel spoke about “conversion” and out of translation, the meaning has been changed. It was less about turning seekers into full-fledged, card-carrying members of the organization, and it was more about turning towards truth.
Which is why, one more time, I like the King James versions. By pale northern european males for pale northern european males. The patriarchy may be doomed, but I’ll hold on to what vestigial elements of out-of-date delusional control I’ve got.
I always appreciate a quiet, steadfast belief that doesn’t blare its message in my face. I like that. I’ve been exposed to this a number of times. I admire the dedication.
If I followed what he was saying the guy on the plane? He had his church change its name. It went from Calvary Baptist Church, to just Calvary. I didn’t follow all the details accurately, so my veracity and reporting ability is clouded, but as I understood it, the name was changed to reflect that the church was about individuals carrying the message of redemption to other people.
That was so totally cool, in my mind.