If I knew for sure that I would die next month, part 2 l Worship

By Gordy Arlin | Jan 09, 2019

Editor’s Note: See Part 1 of "If I knew that I would die next month" (published Aug. 15, 2018) at mukilteobeacon.com

When I was 25 and loving being a happy quite-on-fire Christian, I needed to rescue my Christian girlfriend from "The Bahá’ís."

They had unbelievably lured her beyond the Christian Fold and into "The Bahá’ís" while I'd been six weeks working out of town. Way jarring. Suddenly I'm thrust into an impossible-to-have-previously-imagined battlefield, and for stakes that are way too high.

Reeling, I asked of God: "Uhh... What's up with that? Officially requesting assistance, guidance and clarity please!"

I got quiet, trolling for impressions. My best guess at hearing God correctly was: "This is God, I heard your prayer. Gordy, this is simply a grand test of your faith, as previously promised. In your Bible you have read many times that those who choose the narrow uphill Path will be quite tested; this is one of those. This is promised school. Take heart tho' because as additionally promised, you have the capacity to handle this. Plus, you have a second capacity: to handle it at peace; (Nay!) even from joy, should you choose to be centered in trust, centered in Me. Let it now be seen whether or not you avail yourself, whether or not you claim, in trust, access to either of those capacities. Do you avail yourself?"

Best I could, I armed myself to the teeth with Truth, and invoking God's assistance and sufficiency one breath at a time, I walked into the Pizza Haven where Diane and her two Bahá’í teachers awaited, emboothed and smiling.

(Friends, in order to use as few words as possible, the following words are an accurate caricature of "How I rolled" for the next two hours plus.):

As politely as I could muster, I began scripturally explaining exactly why it was scripturally impossible for Christ to have returned in 1844 (in Persia, they said) in the person of Bahá’u’lláh, because that claim, scripturally, was so remarkably contrary to Scripture.

"And I've got Bible on that! Right here!: 'He shall descend in the clouds, with great glory, and all eyes shall see Him!' That is very concrete, leaving no room for misinterpretation! So, where is the 'all eyes seeing'? Where is the immediately all-permeating, all-galvanizing Glory with a capital G? Where is the literal mandatory mutual witnessing of Jesus Christ in the air and His descending in the clouds grandeur? The wonderful clouds phenomenon so very often associated scripturally with His Second Advent? I'm needing some world-consuming #spectacle# here! Needing all-Jesus all-clouds all-see here!

"We four cannot move forward with this conversation without your openers of: the all-visible figure of Jesus Christ, some descending in the air, some evidently very important clouds, all amidst an impossible-to-avoid all-engulfing and immediately commanding mega-glory. And after which, of course, everything is entirely changed, forever.

"De facto, none of these events have ever occurred! Those, and 100 more scriptural prophecies are all, obviously, unfulfilled! For example, here are #67 and #92: All mankind did not see “the abomination of desolation” foretold by Daniel the Prophet, and the Moon did not turn to blood! You Bahá’ís might be well intentioned, but you are unfortunately deluded! Face it! Own it! Be properly convicted by this proper Scripture, and admit it! And thereby, also give me my normal girlfriend back!" (Insert the unbearable tension of Gary Cooper's "High Noon" here!)

(End of accurate caricature. Drive safely please.)

Diane's teachers, an engaged couple, turn out to be a Christian by birth, very deepened, and he is a lifetime Judaic scholar, thus their responses to my concerns were liberally laced with Biblical scriptural references of their own.

This is a plus, I'm delighted that there is at least some mutually common ground that I can do battle within. However, I know also that the devil loves to manipulate Scripture to the clouding of issues, turning truth into a lie. So I am asking Jesus for emergency help with the much-needed sifting of what they are Biblically quoting to me.

Our conversation was genuinely civil and gracious all evening, but within myself a deep tension ebbed and flowed. Mostly flowed. Mostly.

Another two hours later, we closed the Pizza Haven. We are at an impasse. I am of course resolutely unmoved, and Diane is still a "Bahá’í."

It seems to me that much of their explanative argument devolves to "simply different interpretation of" Biblical Scriptures. About that, I think to myself: "What a cop-out! Even the looniest false prophet could plead "simply different interpretation of" Scripture as an excuse for any blasphemous claim!"

They are turning the house lights down. As the four of us walk out the door I am self-flagellating, deeply disappointed with my total fail as an Onward Christian Soldier, and as a girlfriend rescuer. I'm praying, "Please help me Father" over and over.

In that moment, Diane realized that she had inadvertently left her purse at Britt's apartment earlier that evening. So, we all walked the two blocks to her place.

Of course, I'm "arguing" with Burl every foot of the way, I'm scrapping for Diane's soul!

We are at Britt's door, there is no escaping the reality that my last few seconds are running out.

Fifteen minutes later, I became a Bahá’í.

Friends, it has been beyond my talent to be more concise. Out of room, more to come. Bless you for your patience with me.

 

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