Know what I love? Cutting right to the heart of the matter. Forget introductions, small talk, the weather. I want to share the darkest corners with my soul as soon as I meet someone new.
So you can imagine how much I love it when I meet a Christian for the first time, and the conversation goes something like this:
Hi, I’m Steve.
Me: Steve, nice to meet you, I’m Matt.
I BELIEVE CHRIST IS RETURNING AFTER THE MILLENNIUM AND HAVE MEMORIZED SEVERAL SCRIPTURE VERSES TO BACK UP MY OPINION WHICH I WILL NOW QUOTE TO YOU AND HAVE READ SEVERAL BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT! WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?!
Me: Have you tried this corn dip? It’s really good.
I don’t know if I have this vibe – like these people can tell I’m a pastor, or if that’s the opening line for everyone. Seriously, end-times conversations are like kryptonite to me. Know what my silver bullet is?
Me: Dennis, it’s nice to meet you. What do you do?
I work in a bookstore and homeschool my kids.
Me: That’s fantastic, what bookst…
I BELIEVE THAT ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD SPEAK IN TONGUES BECAUSE I HAVE MEMORIZED SEVERAL BIBLE VERSES WHERE PAUL SAYS SO AND I SPEAK IN TONGUES EVERY DAY AT LEAST THREE TIMES A DAY! GAAAAAA!!!! WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT!!!!!
Me: Have you met Mike? Mike, this is Dennis. This corn dip is delicious.
For some reason, a lot of Christians have their issue, and they just have to know where you fall on that issue immediately, so they can file you in the proper category. Personally, I like to warm up with a little small talk, a couple of humorous anecdotes, before cutting straight to the heart of issues I care nothing about. I love Christians that speak in tongues and do not speak in tongues. I love Christians that have all manner of opinions of the end-times. I’m simply not interested in making these and other deep theological issues matters of introductory conversation.
Of course, there are plenty of non-Christians that have this same problem. Their cause doubles as their opening line:
Me: Claire, it’s nice to make your acquaintance.
I THINK THAT __(any politician)__ SHOULD BE TRIED FOR WAR CRIMES FOR THE OPPRESION HE/SHE SUPPORTS AGAINST __(any ethnic group/voting bloc)__. I FAVOR __(some other politician)__ FOR HIS/HER STANCE FOR/AGAINST __(racism, clean air, Wal-Mart, breast-feeding)__. WE’RE HOLDING A PROTEST TOMORROW BECAUSE WE DO NOT HAVE JOBS.
Me: …Ok, see you later!