He called from California,
a nephew of an older church member.
"Are you my aunt's pastor?"
He said her name.
"Yes," I responded.
I've been trying to call you.
I'm glad I got you.
I don't believe my aunt is saved."
Well, there's an opener for a
conversation with someone
you've never spoken with.
I asked the man why he
thought his aunt wasn't saved.
"Because, when I asked her where
she was going after she died she
said she didn't know?"
I asked him what he wanted me to do.
"GO AND TALK WITH HER!!!"
"And what do you hope that I accomplish?"
"I hope that you can help her."
"Help her what?"
This is when the man got frustrated.
I wasn't meaning to get him mad.
I simply wanted him to state what
he wanted me to do.
Seems to me he wanted me to go
strong arm the old gal until she
confessed that she was indeed saved.
Maybe I should try that "waterboarding"
stuff our President approves of.
He then loudly said,
"In my humble faith, I believe
the most important thing in life
is salvation and the ability
to claim salvation."
I assured him that his aunt was
not only a lovely, loving woman
she was a faithful woman.
I tried to explain that his aunt nor
I used the same "faith" language he used.
I said this hoping that he would
understand that he was waiting
for his old aunt to say a "formula"
of words that she wasn't going to say.
The formula he desires....
demands to hear is:
"Yes, dear I am born again.
On Sept. 14, 1969 I accepted
the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal
savior and I have eternal life."
She isn't going to say this.
Nor am I.
We do however believe that
Jesus Christ is our Savior
and that in Jesus Christ we are saved.
We both said, in front of a congregation,
when we joined the church,
that we believe Jesus Christ
to be our Savior.
To this he said, "I'm not talking about
I'm talking about salvation!"
I said, "Your humble faith doesn't
sound so humble."
I then stated more firmly than before,
"You should be concerned about your aunt
living on her own at the end of her life.
She is lonely. Do you care that she is lonely?
Do you care that she is living right now with needs?"
"The most important need she has,"
"is her salvation."
"Listen. It should comfort you to know that
I have spent a great deal of time with your aunt
and I assure you that she is a woman of faith."
He said, "Talking with you makes me
even more unsure about my aunt."
I said, "Thank you." And hung up the phone.
Why does this dear woman, or
I for that matter owe this man an
explanation about faith simply
because he asks a question.
He is not God.
My salvation does not depend on
anything I say to him.
I believe my dear church member
knows this too.
Funny thing. During the course
of the conversation he said,
"When I call my aunt she gets defensive!"