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I'm Not A Christian, But I Play One On Sunday' (standard:Inspirational stories, 915 words)
Author: GodspenmanAdded: Apr 09 2005Views/Reads: 1806/1082Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
After more than three decades of church ministry, I have come to one unsettling conclusion. Actually, I've come to more than one conclusion, but this one is the most depressing.
 



After more than three decades of church ministry, I have come to one
unsettling conclusion. Actually, I've come to more than one conclusion, 
but this one is the most depressing. 

That conclusion is simply this: all who say they are going to Heaven are
not actually on the right path, going in the right direction. Most, of 
course, have the best intentions, but good intentions don't make up for 
going in the wrong direction. 

Our government insists advertisers adhere to what they call "truth in
advertising." I would like to insist on something I call "truth in 
testimony." By that, I mean what people say about themselves should be 
the truth. If this could ever be enacted by Congress, some people will 
have to say, "I'm not a Christian, but I play one on Sunday." 

I've always thought of it this way, if you're not a Christian on
Saturday night, you're not a Christian on Sunday morning, which may be 
the ultimate test. Christianity is not a time-sensitive lifestyle 
turned on Sunday morning and expiring by nightfall. 

Christianity is not like St. Patrick's Day, where for that one day
everyone is Irish. Also, Christianity is not like a part-time job you 
take to make ends meet. 

For example, take a guy who was in my office one day last month. I never
saw him before and didn't know him from Adam. He saw our church, he 
said, as he was driving by and thought he would stop in and visit. "You 
have a real nice church here, reverend," he praised. 

As soon as I saw him, I knew what he was after. His job was to see how
much of my money and the church's money he could put into his pocket. 
My job, of course, was to make his job impossible. 

I've played this game before and, not bragging, I've become rather good
at it. Not that I have not lost my share of games, for I have. But 
after losing hundreds of dollars to scoundrels, I've learned how to 
play the game. 

The key to winning is never letting your guard down, and more
importantly, never allow your opponent to suck you into his sympathy 
scam. One man actually brought with him a little girl he pawned off as 
his daughter. 

Looking into her big brown eyes my hand automatically went to my wallet.
I'm sorry to say I lost that one and later found out the little girl 
was not his daughter. 

This man in my office, let's call him "Ralph," had a different scheme.
He was trying to impress me with how good a Christian he really was. 
Although he may not have been a good Christian, he sure knew how to 
tell a good line. All along, he was trying to impress me that he really 
knew God. 

I could tell Ralph knew God about as well as I knew the President of the
United States. It was then an idea hit me. 

While he talked to me, I was trying to figure out how I could convince
him that he really didn't know God. Sure, he knew a lot of things about 
God and could quote a bushel full of Bible verses as though that would 
impress me. Entrance into heaven is not contingent upon impressing some 
preacher. 

I knew Ralph really did not know God personally. My problem was to
persuade him of that fact. 

It's almost like someone who smokes cigarettes trying to convince
someone who doesn't smoke that they don't smoke. The smoker does not 
smell the smoke but the non-smoker smells it right away. Similarly, I 
can readily tell when someone doesn't know God personally. 

As we were talking, an idea came to mind. Ralph was sitting across my
desk from me and between us was my telephone. So I said to Ralph, "Do 
you know the President of the United States?" 

Ralph looked at me a little perplexed with this question out of the blue


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