A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter Eleven – The Pigsty Part 1

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John E.'s picture

When I started writing chapter 11, I had intended for there to be only two more chapters and an epilogue briefly explaining what God has done in my heart and life since my conversion almost 13 years ago. Chapter 11 was going to include the year and a half leading up to the month before my conversion. The final chapter (12) would be my conversion. Except, as I wrote chapter 11 the word count kept mounting and my outline wasn't shrinking. In fact, as I wrote, I kept realizing that I had left important points out, so my outline actually got bigger. I finally concluded that unless I wanted a post with 10,000+ words, I needed to split that year and a half up. Even splitting it up, I still left quite a bit out. 

So, I apologize for stretching it out another chapter. It'll be finished soon, I promise. 

Ron Bean's picture

I had been the Principal/Administrator at John's Christian school for about 10 years. I knew his parents (his dear mother had taught my sons) but I only knew John by name. On that fateful yet gracious morning the pastor/founder of the church/school had called me and told me that John Ellis was planning on coming to the school and that I was not to let him him in under any circumstances, no reason given. I was sitting at my desk when two staff people came into the office and sounded the alarm, "John Ellis is here!!", and went on their way. When I saw John for the first time his appearance provided the explanation for the founder's instruction. I don't know why I chose to disobey my directive (that just wasn't done  in this ministry) but I saw John as someone who just needed someone to be civil to him, show him he had a friend who wasn't put off my his appearance, and could perhaps share the Gospel with him. We made small talk that never led to a Gospel conversation. When he left the staff gathered and proceeded to express either concern or mild disdain for how John had "forgotten everything that he learned here." I prayed for John that day and, to my shame, never prayed for him again. (SPOILER ALERT) Our paths would cross again in a few years when my youngest son would tell me that he was in a play at BJU with an actor named John Ellis who really wanted to talk to me.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

John E.'s picture

Yes, as Ron said, after I became a Christian I went back to BJU. God used that time to continue to redirect my focus onto Him and away from theatre.

Andrew K's picture

Wow. Interesting to see the comments. It looks like your story is already having an impact in the Christian school community.

John E.'s picture

My trolls have disappeared and that makes me a little sad. Their bumbling, poorly-drawn, and obvious caricatures of fundamentalism was a source of amusement for some of my friends (and myself).

To be clear, there's a part of me that wonders if they are mocking those whom I've termed the "new legalists." Because if they're really trying to mock fundamentalism, it's so badly done that they're inadvertently making fun of themselves.