They are people who aren't helping us in bringing people into the Kingdom of God. If they fell off the face of the planet, Christianity would be no worse for it.
Usually when I go to my hair appointment each month I swing by Subway and grab a sandwich to eat later right before church as I have no time to stop after the appointment and I'm starving. I didn't do this yesterday as I ran out of time. So I swung by a new casual sort of Mexican place that opened by my hair place since my appt. ended about 20 minutes earlier than usual. I'll never go back. Never, never, never.
While I was ordering my food I was sort of having a brain warp since I've just had so much on my mind. I ordered a hard shell taco. The woman asked me what size drink I wanted and instead of small or large, I answered, "hard." I guess I was just brain-fried from everything going on the past week. So she says, "uh, small or large mam...there is no hard." So I said, "oh yeah, sorry I'm just having a brain warp." She said, "oh, bad day?" I said, "no, just lots going on as usual." So she asks me, "what do you do for a living?" (I always brace myself when I answer this question...) I told her I am a pastor. And thus ensued the onslaught of stupidity that proceeded to come out of her mouth...
She proceeds to tell me first that she just moved here from Baltimore. I said, "oh, what I coincidence, that's where I'm from..." (I have since realized, perhaps this is the ONLY good thing about this woman.) She tells me that she and her husband were pastors for many years but they are taking a break right now and doing this restaurant thing. She then says, "well, you seem busy but just remember Romans 8:11." I was a little confused at that point. Romans 8:11 says, "And if the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." This was all a bit strange to me, as I am busy - but I am not sick or dead. But this was just the tip of the iceberg with Sis. Chimichanga. She asks me, "what church are you with?" I tell her and she proceeds to tell me that she and her husband left the Assemblies of God. I didn't ask why (I really don't care) but you know how people are - they will gladly tell you why.
She goes on to tell me that she went to Bible College to be a pastor, but then read her Bible and realized she was out of God's will for doing so. She left the A/G because they sanction and even ordain women pastors. She goes into the whole "women shouldn't be pastors" speech and then tells me, "I would never, never usurp the authority of my husband..." I'm standing there blankly looking at her (even more brain warped than before) because all the while she's spewing this crap, there are several customers lined up right beside me listening to this whole thing. Before I can even address the woman pastor thing, she is right on to telling me that they haven't found a church in Tampa yet because "so far we've seen here that nobody in Tampa knows how to exegete the Bible." I wanted to burst out laughing on that one but somehow restrained myself. With thousands of Christians and churches in Tampa, NO ONE knows how to exegete scripture? She rattles on about how nobody here is into the "deep" things of God, (I always know I'm dealing with a flake when they get into all that "nobody's deep enough" stuff) nobody knows how to seriously study scripture, it's all just a bunch of topical studies.
This lady hardly comes up for air when she talks. Before I could even address that, she looks into my eyes with this almost glazed over angry look and says, "what do you think sends people to hell?" Without skipping a beat, I said, "unrepentant sin." She says, 'NO! NO! NO!" Then she gives a whole dissertation of her belief that sin never sent anyone to hell because Jesus paid for everyone's sins, but only rejection of Christ sends them to hell. I should have said, "Just remember, Romans 6:23." But I didn't, I just wanted to get my taco and get the heck away from her. Just then her husband (who was the cook) says, "Mary, number 75" (my order number) She shouts back at him, "I'm busy, I'll get to it in a minute!" And she left my taco sitting up there on the shelf while she continued her diatribe without taking a breath for at least five more minutes.
In addition to shooting Romans 6:23 back at her I should have also said, "Stop usurping the authority of your husband. Pick up my taco, give it to me, and shut up." It was all I could do not to jump the counter and pop her one. But I remember my husband's words to me many times not to argue with such people because he/she who argues with a fool is one.
So I simply took my taco, ate it as fast as I could and got out of there, never to go back again. I'm really glad these people got out of pastoring and got into the taco business. I'm glad they left the Assemblies of God. And I hope she never tells anybody she's from Baltimore again. Not only does JESUS have better reps, so does Baltimore.
My greatest irritation in this whole matter is that all the people in line heard the whole conversation and for some of them it may be the only "Jesus" they ever see. And if there was ever a poor example, this was it. I hope they all get another chance to meet someone who is the right kind of Jesus Freak.
I'm glad there are a lot of other taco places in Tampa.