I probaly haven’t had enough coffee to write this post, but I’m gonna give it a go, anyway.
I’m back home in Maryland, land of plentiful gasoline. (Well, for now, anyway.) But my last taste of Atlanta was on the MARTA train to the airport. A young African American man walked up and down the aisle rading from the bible. Everybody he walked past just kind of rolled their eyes as he passed. Although he seemed to have a lot of enthusiasm, he wasn’t a very good reader — or maybe it’s hard to read aloud on a moving train, I don’t know because I have never tried.
Anyway, that was fine. But then he closed the bible and began going up to every passenger and saying “Brother, have you been saved?” A few people tried to simply ignore him, but he wouldn’t take silence. He was quite persistent. So soon passengers simply said “Yes” almost before he even asked his question.
He was getting close to my seat. Crap. Anyone who knows me knows I hate confrontation. Hate it. Makes me ill. (Yes, therapy has helped with that, thank you very much.) So as he got closer, I tried to decide how to respond.
You see, I understand that evangelicals feel it is their duty to bring everyone to salvation. But I also think it’s really none of their business. Religion, to me, is a very personal thing. And for some stranger to come up to me and ask me a question as if my religious beliefs could be described in check-box, is ridiculous. I am a complicated human being, and my relationship with God is not a simple one.
“Have you been saved? Please check ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.”
However, I also did not think this fellow was interested in a long theological discussion. In fact, I didn’t get the impression that he would understand any answer to his question except “yes” or “no.”
So when the roving MARTA preacher approached my seat and said “Sister, have you been saved?” I answered “I’m good, thanks.”
I guess that would be the check-box for “Other.”