Every church has it’s fair share of them
Today I spoke at the Broome Church and one of the other tourists wanted to get stuck in. I was catching up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen for probably 15 years when this man approached… He wasn’t going to wait and interupted our conversation to ask if he could speak to me. My friend politely excused herself and left me with this strange individual.
I had spoken about the shift in the spiritual landscape of Australia and used Billy Graham as an example. In 1959 when he came to Oz he had the biggest crowd ever at the MCG but I suggested that if he came back now he wouldn’t pull the same crowd because the culture has changed. I don’t know anyone who would disagree with this. Essentially I was saying that if we are to be effective as the church then we need to reconfigure how we see ourselves and the context we operate in.
However this man wanted to argue with me that Billy Graham was a bad man who supported Pres Nixon and was actually quite dodgy. While I doubted the truth of the conspiracy theory about him I honestly didn’t care very much as the point of the arguement didn’t hinge on Graham’s integrity, but in the culture.
But Mr Wacko wanted to argue… I explained myself once, he kept pushing and I asked him if he understood my point… He did… He just wanted to push his barrow.
I couldn’t see the point of listening to his nonsense, I simply said ‘yeah whatever’ and walked off. Probably not very pastoral but I’m tired of wacko, opinionated weirdos taking up my time with their absurd and poorly reasoned arguments.
Honestly, sometimes I reckon you just have to say ‘whatever’ and walk off. I would have liked to say make a stronger statement, but held my tongue…
We need to show grace to people as they grow but there are also those who just need to be told they are nut jobs and wasting your time.
there is one guy I know who visits occaisionally and will talk about road safety for literally hours…
I got caught once..not twice. He does not let you get a word in…so I just walked away.
I understand you entirely, but….. maybe it would have been good to say something along the lines of ‘He was close to Nixon, and when he realised the real situation re Watergate, he from that point onwards made a point of not being as close to Presidents and some others. He realised he got/nearly got his fingers badly burned’.
Having said that, the first commenter clearly is aware of this person… and the soap-box approach! Hey ho!!
When I was an associate pastor at my first church, the senior pastor had what I thought was an effective way to cut those kind of people off.
At the point where you said, “Whatever” he would say, “Maybe you’re right” and move on. I saw it work on people like Mr. Wacko, and I used it myself on argumentative people.
It totally diffuses them because you quit arguing with them. They’ll stand their with their mouths open not knowing what to say next, and you can smile and move on.
Your story reminds me of a woman who showed up at one of our Alpha courses a few years ago. She was a recent convert, and spent most of her time listening to “Christian” radio. She would wait for a break in the conversation and then start regurgitating every right-wing conspiracy theory she had absorbed that week, completely oblivious to the fact that no one else understood or cared about what she was talking about. She didn’t get it when we took her aside to explain that that wasn’t what Alpha was for — sadly there were some folks in the group who would have liked to talk about their real concerns. It’s one thing to walk away from the Mr. & Ms. Wacko’s on the church patio; quite another when it’s a small group situation and you can’t quite tell them to just shut up — much as you might like to.
The interesting thing about my chap, is that if you know his story…there are deep and real hurts there…terrible family tradgedy.
But the issue is, you just cant get to the real issue…and its a question of how much you can give.
That’s a tricky one, Mark, when there are deep hurts involved but the person won’t deal with them. I think there is a time for telling it like it is and moving on, if they won’t deal with the stuff.
yes I agree Alex. In this case it is really a case of not alllowing yourself to get bogged down in a conversation which will sap your time and energy.
I think, as always, that Jesus presents the best example.
You shoulda asked him what he thought about the theory that Bert from sesame st was the unknown gunman at the Kennedy assassination. Whilst being out there it would probably fit this guys worldview
“I couldn’t see the point of listening to his nonsense” You judge a matter before you hear it?
Dr. Graham: ” I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ”
The Apostle Paul provides the most definitive refutation to this false statement by Dr. Graham. ” For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” [Romans 10:13-15]
When Paul says that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, he is correctly implying that a person cannot be saved apart from the name and Person of Jesus Christ. This is why the Christian Church has placed such an emphasis on sending missionaries to foreign lands where the Gospel has not been heard. The Apostle Paul then continues to elaborate on this terrible truth. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
When Dr. Graham asserts that people can be saved even though they know not the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, he is repeating the lie — the false doctrine of the New Age Religion — and of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as of Liberal “Christians” like Dr. Schuller. This statement is quite a departure from traditional Southern Baptist teaching; but, it does fit in nicely with today’s burgeoning Ecumenical theology, as they state that there are many roads to Heaven, and it does not really matter what you believe as long as you are “sincere”.
JESUS THE ONLY WAY
Of course, this Apostate Doctrine is easily and definitively refuted by none other than Jesus Christ Himself. Listen carefully to His Words: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [John 14:6]
I find myself prone to being slain in the spirit when something like this happens to me. I get a sudden dose of Pentecostalism(which generally works in a Uniting or Baptist church) and either fall to the ground or start exorcising nearby objects.
If you stick your neck out to speak publicly, and if you like to provoke a little in what you say, then wouldn’t you be a bit disappointed if this didn’t happen now and then?