Baxter Begins Orientation At Transylvania Reformed Global Missions

Entry II

Baxter walked into the training center at the Headquarters of Transylvania Reformed Global Missions for orientation week.

At a circular shaped table were cute little name tags with each member of the teams name placed where they were to sit. The name tags had been computer generated and on the left side of the name was a picture of the globe and on the right side of the name was a Cross. Baxter thought that was cute.

Baxter picked up his name tag and casually moved his seating assignment so that he was sitting at the location closest to the exit which also had the felicitous advantage of having a wall at his back. In doing so he placed the name tag of ‘Shanicka,’ that had been at the seat he had adopted over to where his name tag had previously been. Baxter didn’t figure anybody would notice the switch.

Eventually the rest of the team began to arrive along with the TRGM staff.

The leader of the orientation week was a Rev. Lynne VanderVries-Masters. Baxter figured she was about 7 months pregnant.

“Welcome to the TRGM orientation week,” Lynne said. “We have a special welcome prepared for you today.”

With this Lynne introduced a William Lincoln who proceeded to begin a rap song.

“J-Man he did come to save
heal the sick and roll the grave
The J-Man he broke all the rules
Now you join his troop of fools

J-Man, J-Man, we need you
J-Man, J-Man, to help us woo
J-Man, J-Man, to find the lost
J-Man, J-Man, to bear all cost”

This cadence continued for some time but Baxter, having gone into ‘incredulity mode,’ missed most of the rest of the ‘lyrics.’ Later, he figured he’d catch the rest of the lyrics on ‘TransylvaniaTube.’

Baxter’s incredulity mode was shattered by a resounding ovation at the completion of Mr. Lincoln’s rap song. Baxter wondered why his Father hadn’t warned him about this kind of thing.

Rev. Lynne stepped forward and said with a smile straight out of a Crest commercial, “We wanted all of you to see that there are many ways to do evangelism and that we should take our audience into account when we speak of the J-Man.” After pausing to giggle appropriately Rev. VanderVries-Masters continued, “It is so important that we get past ‘traditional’ evangelism approaches, if only because we are no longer dealing with ‘traditional’ people. We hope that this rap song will stretch your evangelism comfort zone.”

Baxter wanted to ask how ‘evangelism’ was being defined but he figured that they would eventually get to that so he decided to hold his questions.

After this Rev. Lynne decided that they would have a ‘testimony time’ so the group could get to know each other.

There was about 25 people in the group and in the course of the next two hours Baxter heard recounted just about every sin and dysfunction he could imagine. There was Pete, the former Seminary student, who had quit Seminary because he lost God and who was going on the mission trip with hope of finding God again. There was Alice, the Christian who had become a coke addict but who had repented and was going on mission trip in hope of ‘trying to make up a little bit for my mistakes.’ There was Shanicka, who used to hate white people, but who had come to realize that most white people didn’t realize how racist they were. This had given her the ability to forgive them. There was Henry the former Cabbie from Kansas City who had more sordid stories then Baxter could remember. Baxter wondered if this was what the forced confessions in the re-education camps in Communist countries looked like. He had read about those re-education camps and all these testimonies bore a faint resemblance to what he had read.

Finally it was Baxter’s turn to ‘give his testimony.’

Baxter cleared his throat and said with some embarrassment over his inability to compete with the other inmates,

“Folks, I was baptized as a infant. I grew up in a Christian home. My parents were and are outstanding. They have taught me to continue to trust my Elder Brother Jesus my whole life. They have taught me that I am a sinner and need Jesus. They have trained me in the ways of the covenant. Every week we feast on Christ and my Father reminds us that Christ is for us and forgives our sins. That’s about the extent of my Christian testimony.”

Everyone just stared at Baxter.

Finally, after a pregnant pause, Rev. Lynne said, ‘thats nice Baxter. We are happy for you.’

Baxter thought the tone in her voice sounded like something besides happiness.

With the testimonies completed they were excused for a break.

“When we come back,” Rev. Lynne said, “we will learn about how Reformed people do evangelism.”

Baxter went out to his car and fished around in his glove box where he found his flask. He had never had such a desire for a shot. He figured he’d take two pulls. One to get over what he had just witnessed and one to prepare him for whatever came next.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

5 thoughts on “Baxter Begins Orientation At Transylvania Reformed Global Missions”

  1. I am very interested to see how this all plays out for Baxter. Though I must admit, it seems to me that Baxter might be a bit too desperate for this mission trip. If the Transylvania Reformed Global Missions Board is such a farce, and Baxter is still there, I have to wonder why Baxter wouldn’t just go with someone else instead…?

  2. Transylvania Reformed Global Missions is a fictional group. It doesn’t exist.

    Baxter is a fictional person. He doesn’t exist.

    Now, as to why a fictional person would stay with a fictional group… well I guess we will have to wait for the fictional story to unfold.

    Fictionally yours,

  3. nothing fictional about this. people may not be QUITE as stupid as you think they are.

    the thing I don’t get is, why would Baxter want to go on a missions trip when he doesn’t believe in evangelism?

  4. I repeat…

    Baxter is a fictional character.

    Transylvania Reformed Church is a fictional denomination.

    Indeed, they are so fictional that I don’t know why anybody would think otherwise. Now, it is true that the writer of the fiction has had some personal and individual experience with several different Mission sending agencies. On that account there is no reason not to think that some of the authors own personal experiences with these several different mission sending agencies may find themselves fictionalized (augmented and contracted) into this account so that a kind of eclectic and conglomerate effect is created. You know… kind of the way Hollywood fictionalizes biography.

    Second, I don’t know what has been written in the fictional story that could give anyone reason to believe that Baxter doesn’t believe in evangelism. That is a most odd conclusion to reach given what has been written and might be interesting to pursue if you so choose. It could lead us into a great conversation about what constitutes evangelism. What Christian doesn’t believe in evangelism?

    Maybe I will include some dialog in my story that goes like this,

    Baxter was sitting alone musing when one of his team members came up to him and said,

    “Your so innocent I can’t help but want to corrupt you.”

    Nah … that would be to unbelievable, even for a fiction story

    I am really looking forward to writing the chapter on the psychologists and missions.

    Fictionally yours,

    p.s. — One important reason that I am writing this is that I have some aspirations to be a writer. I am just practicing here.

  5. Ah,yes. I, too, am fictional, at least for now. My “fictional” employment at TRGM necessitates my anonymity for the time being. In the (hopefully not-too-distant) future, once I am no longer (fictionally) employed at said (fictional) agency, then I will be quite happy to, as the vernacular would have it, “bring it”.

    I am not used to censoring myself, or hiding behind anonymity, but I do so right now out of (fictional) respect for my (fictional) employer.

    Given the current economic conditions in Transylvania, it may take me a while to find another job, but I can assure you that once I am free to speak, the conversation will continue.

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