THE CONVERSATION! - PART 2 (July.2005)
The following is the second part of the true story based conversation which we released in February of 2004. The first part of the Conversation was a pretty exact depiction of the results of some conversations that W. C. Kisiel and myself have had with both mainstream Christians, and ordinary American's with no stated religious affiliation.
In the second part of the conversation, Curt has made an appointment with the Pastor of their church, and has asked the Pastor to invite Jacob to the meeting to discuss the contents of their former conversation. Curt has given Pastor J. Smythe a rundown of the Conversation. Pastor Smythe is concerned for Jacob, given Curt's depiction of the discussion they had.
This part of the Conversation is gathered from many stories in the news, and on the internet, and from mainstream Christian leadership's statements regarding what the Church's handling of people who believe as Jacob does should be. It also comes from our first hand experiences with dealing with Pastors and Parishioners in certain Church's bible studies we have attended, where these discussions have come up.
As the conversation begins however, will the Pastor begin to see a different picture than the one that Curt had drawn for him? What will pastor Smythe have to say regarding the verses of scripture that will be discussed? Join us now for this second installment of this important, and relevant 21st Century Conversation!
(see the first Conversation Article, in order to fully understand the context of this article)
Curt is a main stream American evangelical Christian, active in his Church, "on fire" for the Lord, and educated in his faith by the mainstream Church in America today. He goes to Sunday school classes, attends Church every Sunday, and is considered a good Christian man. He has three children, all boys, and a beautiful wife who shares all of his spiritual convictions. He is a very well to do man, who runs his own business, spending approximately 60-70 hours each week at the office, and even spends 10-12 hours at home each week on his Computer and on the phone, working out business details, he is a hard working man, who considers himself a patriotic American.
Jacob is a Christian as well, who has experiences with the Lord ranging back as far as three decades. He was once very active in his Church, and had a ministry to the youth, with a strong emphasis on personal evangelism. He has however, within the last two years, returned from a long hiatus from Church attendance, and his fellow Christians look at him with skepticism and concern, assuming that his spiritual life is hanging in the balance of so many years away from the Church. He has a job, and is happily married with one Child, also a Boy. Jacob spends many hours each week reading the word and praying. He has never left his faith behind. In fact, does not even really have an explanation as to why he stopped attending Church. Having returned after many years, Jacob has noticed a very powerful change that has come over the people he used to know.
Pastor J. Smythe is the senior pastor of the Church that Curt and Jacob grew up in. He is a kind-hearted, easy going man who fancies himself a peacemaker, and who pride's himself in his ability to show great tolerance for other's perspective on the scriptures, and the Christian Life in general. He often shows great tact and diplomacy when discussing the word with his parishioners, and gently uses the scriptures to mentor them in the direction of what the word says on matters, rather than entering theological debate, or lecturing them. Pastor Smythe has heard Curt's side of the story, and expects to have to use his mentoring skills to straighten out Jacob's false impressions of world events, and of his view of American leadership. Let's listen in...
Pastor Smythe: Hello Gentlemen, thank you for coming in. Why don't we start our time together with some prayer?
Curt: Yes, let's.
Pastor Smythe: Lord, I thank you for Curt, and for Jacob. I thank you for their continued interest in your word. I thank you for their lives, which we have been able to watch progress into manhood right here in our own little Church. I pray that you would guide our conversation this night in your Spirit, and that you would have your way with us. We submit to you now, and we open our hearts to your truth, and we pray that you would give us the humility to accept your word, and to be obedient to it as we live before you...
Curt: Yes Lord!
Pastor Smythe: that we would honor you not only with our words, and in our hearts, but with our deeds, and with our lives. That we would be ready to stand up for YOUR truth, and YOUR word, rather than our own...
Jacob: Yes Lord God.
Pastor Smythe: We claim your promise, that when two or more are gathered in your name, that you will be here among us. Guide and strengthen us as we share together in your spirit. We pray this in Jesus precious name, Amen
Pastor Smythe: Well, as I understand it, you attended our Men's bible study recently Jacob!
Jacob: Yes, I had been out of the Church for quite some time, I'm not really sure why, but I decided to get back into fellowship with the folks here at the church.
Pastor Smythe: Well, that's fantastic Jacob! We are very happy to see you again, and I am glad you have returned to fellowship here.
Jacob: Thank you Pastor. The feeling is mutual.