You know you might be Democrat …

If you got knocked up in order to collect a larger government check because you couldn’t afford your three children by three different men.

If you were glad for the government bailout because it allowed you to take your trip to the Riviera with your mistress.

If you were able to base your recent bank mortgage loan on the fact that you had had three jobs in two weeks.

If you cheated on your taxes and knew it wouldn’t matter much unless you were nominated to be the Secretary of the Treasury.

If you think that drinking copious amounts of Liquor is a cure for a hangover or if you think that borrowing more money is a cure for debt.

If you think that it is necessary to teach 1st graders what a dildo is while showing films on how homosexuals couple.

If you hate God even though you are convinced that he doesn’t exist.

If, while shoveling your sidewalk clean of the 24 inches of snow you have received daily for the past week, you keep warm in the sub zero cold by looking forward to legislation that will stop global warming.

If you consider Barney Frank a role model for America’s children.

If you think women should have a right to choose to kill their children but you don’t think Americans should have the right to choose to keep and bear arms.

If you think Republicans are conservative.

If you were one of the 1.8 million that attended the Obama inauguration but not one of the 14 who had a job and so had to miss work.

He Was A Young American

John had just finished viewing his memory video of his time in London when he attended the Princess Diane funeral. The pictures brought back the sense of camaraderie with strangers united in common grief that he had experienced during his time in London. He would have liked to reminisce more but he was afraid that he would be late for his Scientology meeting.

On the way to the subway John stopped at the news-stand to buy the recent edition of “Aliens and Abductions,” and then it was a quick stop at the Amulet store to buy some healing crystals to help the Zicam ward off what he was afraid was a coming cold.

The Scientology meeting went well. John had just passed his masters level and each week found him more and more informed on how to rid himself of the threatening thetans. For more then ten years now John gave praise to God for the work of L. Ron Hubbard.

With the Scientology meeting finished John decided to walk over to his marriage partner’s business. Habib and John had been together five years now and John told everyone he met that they were the best five years of his life. It had taken some time for John to get used to Habib’s Moonie Religion but after just a brief time of co-cohabiting together Habib and John discovered that Scientology and the Moonie belief actually molded together quite well.

After a power lunch with Habib, John was out the door again on his way to the Obama campaign headquarters. He knew that the candidate would be in town any day for a major foreign policy speech and John was already swooning with excitement to see such a towering figure. So excited was John that he had invited all of his friends from the Amulet store, his online “Aliens and Abductions group”, his Scientology group, Habib’s Moonie group, and his old Princess Diane contacts that lived in the surrounding area. John promised them that this Obama speech would be bigger then both Nelson Mandela’s tour in 1990 or a John Lennon concert back in the 70’s. Indeed John was billing this speech as even bigger than Woodstock though he personally was a bit to young to have attended that.

Once back home, John channeled surfed watching the news shows from CNN, MSNBC, FOX News and other worthy sources of information. His apartment was littered with editions of the NY Times, Washington Post, TIME and Newsweek magazines, Shirley McClain personal enrichment books as well as Richard Simmons work out videos. Life was full for John and he didn’t have as much time for being neat and tidy as some of his other less stable friends had.

Election Day In Hobbiton

The first Tuesday in November had always been election day in Hobbiton. Traditionally Hobbiton ballots had been filled with last names like “Hornblower,” “Took”, “Proudfoot,” “Barrowdown,” and “Brandybuck.” The 2008 ballot still had many of those names but at the top of the ticket of the two major parties were names that weren’t as common or familiar to Hobbiton ballots.

When it came to voting on who would lead the West the Hobbits had the choice of Sauron vs. Saruman. Now there were third party candidates like Gandalf, Elrond, and Faramir, but the majority of Hobbits had been convinced that those third party candidates didn’t stand a chance and so like cattle heading to the milk parlor to be milked, the Hobbits headed to the polls to vote for Sauron or Saruman.

The debate in Hobbiton during the election cycle had been vicious. There were those Hobbits whose families had been sturdy for centuries who had been lured to the Dark side and were advocating for Sauron. These deluded Hobbit minions of Sauron (like Ted Sandyman the Miller, and the Sackville-Bagginses) promised that Sauron would make everybody equal, painting verbal pictures of the equality that existed in the enchanted land of Mordor. This campaign technique swayed many Hobbits into the Sauron camp since they no longer read the works of Frodo Baggins, which would have instructed them quite to the contrary. Sauron promised a Hobbiton where not only privileged Hobbits would own rings. Sauron pointed out how unfair it was that only the privileged could own rings and so Sauron promised that every Hobbit would own rings in a Sauron administration.

On the other side the supporters of Saruman pointed out how much better Saruman was then Sauron. They reminded all the Hobbits of how bad Sauron’s policies were. They connected Sauron to shady characters like Smeagol, B. Al Rog, and the radical terrorist organization N.A.Z.G.U.L. There were even internet rumors that there were sinister alliances between Sauron and Goblins. Saruman’s basic campaign motto in Hobbiton was “I’m not Sauron.” But informed Hobbits who were voting third party realized that the difference between Sauron and Saruman was the difference between a wolf and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The Hobbiton’s refused to listen to third party candidates like Gandalf who warned that both Sauron and Saruman agreed on the issue of opening the borders of Hobbiton to Cave Trolls, Blow-Spiders and Wolves. Even if they believed Gandalf, large numbers of them refused to vote for Gandalf since “he had no chance to win.” The Hobbiton’s refused to listen to third party candidates like Elrond who warned that both Sauron and Saruman would enslave Hobbiton and Hobbits for generations to come. Elrond and Gandalf alike pleaded with the Hobbits that they awaken to the reality that Sauron and Saruman would each destroy them.

The first Tuesday in November came with anticipation. The only thing that was certain was that Hobbiton was headed into the twilight of its existence. The Hobbits had lost their will to be a free people.

Baxter and TRGM — How Reformed People Do Evangelism

“And so that is how Reformed people do Evangelism.”

The rousing applause snapped Baxter out of his daydreaming and he quickly joined in hand clapping accolades.

Baxter had no idea what had been said over the last 20 minutes of the presentation. He had slipped into a daydream about turkey hunting with the under 25, all blond female hunting club from Sweden. Even after coming back to reality he was amazed at the marksmen skill of those women and how good they could still look in camouflage.

The leader of the Transylvania Reformed Global Missions dismissed the class into their breakout groups in order to share with each other their thoughts on the presentation.

Baxter’s group consisted of four women (who he doubted could qualify for the all blond female hunting club) and two guys (who he thought might be able to qualify for the all blond female hunting club), and himself.

Amber, who had been elected group Facilitator started, the conversation.

“I especially liked it when Rev. Goforth said that there may be situations where we deal with people groups who couldn’t make any sense why someone would ask Jesus into their hearts but who could make sense that someone might ask Jesus into their throats.”

Jason chimed in enthusiastically,

“Yes, it just goes to show how flexible we need to be in presenting the Gospel.”

The rest of the group nodded in four part harmony.

Baxter asked,

“I was wondering if any of you could help me out here. Where do we see in Scripture the warrant that conversion consists of asking Jesus into any of our anatomical body parts?”

Malika offered,

“Well the bible does say if we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts, that God has raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.”

“Sure,” Baxter offered, “but that is communicating that we must believe with our whole being or person. I would have no problem saying to people who believed that the throat stood for the center of their being that they must believe in their throats. Still, I don’t find that to be a warrant to say to them that if they ask Jesus into their throats they shall be saved.”

Jason piped up, “Baxter, why must you be such a knit picker about these things?”

“Well Jason,” Baxter answered, “I surely have better things to do then pick knits but I think there is something underlying this that isn’t particularly Reformed.”

“We’re a captive audience to your wisdom,” Jason quipped.

“You’re too generous Jason,” Baxter replied.

“It is just that I think we need to be careful about making the asking of Jesus into our hearts, throats, pancreases, livers or whatever into a new sacrament or some kind of formula for salvation. Certainly we need to communicate the eagerness of God to forgive those turn to Christ but we also need to communicate that “salvation is of the Lord.”

Beth Ann pushed Baxter to explain himself more thoroughly.

“Here is my concern,” Baxter offered obligingly, “if we push the whole idea of conversion as people doing something, such as asking Jesus into some part of their anatomy, we run the risk of having them base their salvation on some action on their part or on some experience they had. It seems to me Reformed evangelism has always offered instead how God does the the working in Salvation. This is why I think Baptism should be the point of conversion that we should point people to look back to since Baptism proclaims Jesus and is the initiatory sign into the covenant.

What we have had emphasized today in the lecture on Reformed Evangelism is the penultimate side of the conversion coin. It is true that it is absolutely necessary that we must confess with our mouths and believe with our hearts that God has raised Jesus from the dead but that is really only the penultimate part of the equation. The ultimate part of the equation is that God does the work of salvation and the promise that he has done that work is not found in our confession but in our Baptism.”

Malika brightened and responded,

“So what you’re saying Baxter is that though our response to God’s graciousness is necessary, that response is not itself the Gospel.”

Baxter beamed back and hollered “precisely.” “When we zero in on asking Jesus into our colons the emphasis in evangelism falls on our response and though our response is necessary the emphasis should fall on how God does all the saving.”

Amber, seeing that their time in the breakout groups was winnowing away, insisted that the group spend some time on other matters brought up in the lecture on how Reformed people do Evangelism.

On that score she queried, “What did you all think of that new thing we learned from Rev. Goforth called TULIP?”

There was a good deal of exciting chattering beginning but Baxter felt himself being pulled back into his daydream. He began to smell the kill cooking from the morning hunt. Not only could those Swedish girls shoot but they could cook as well.

Baxter’s Psychological Testing For TRGM

Each of the candidates in training, including Baxter, were given an appointment, with the Transylvania Reformed Global Missions Psychologist, during their orientation week, in order to review the battery of personality tests that they had take before being accepted to TRGM.

When Baxter had received the test 6 months prior he decided to be a little proactive in his test taking. He knew a little bit about these tests having volunteered to be a ‘guinea pig’ for a older friend of his who was doing some Ph.D. work that required her to give some of these same kinds of tests to a control group. She had asked Baxter to be a part of her control group and he, wanting to help her, agreed with the stipulation that she explain to him a little bit how the tests ‘worked.’

“They are really not that difficult Baxter,” she offered when her agreed upon explanation finally came.

“The way these tests work is that they create a standard by compiling and collating responses that are received from those who take the tests. Once the results are compiled and collated those results are reified into numbers and percentages which are made the standard for future tests and test-takers.”

Baxter thought on that for a bit. Finally he responded,

“Doris, do I understand you to mean that it is the responses of people who take the test that end up becoming how average and normal are defined for future people who take the test?”

Doris replied affirmatively and went on to explain,

“Every time the tests are taken by somebody their results become part of the standard for what is being measured. So, for example, should we desire to be looking for obsessive compulsive behavior in people, we would find that in someone by looking at their answers that were in excess to whatever the compiled and collated answers from these tests would tell us.”

Baxter asked, “Doris, what if the tests were taken by a culture that was largely obsessive compulsive?”

“Well, I guess that nobody would be discovered to be obsessive compulsive then,” she replied.

“What if the tests were taken by a culture that was largely dysfunctional,” Baxter pressed.

“Baxter, I know what you’re getting at,” Doris replied. “This test does not provide answers that are anchored in absolutes. The norm in these tests is sliding according to those who take the test.”

Baxter repeated himself, “Doris, what if the tests were taken by a culture that was largely dysfunctional?”

“Well, I would think that normal people would be found to be abnormal since the norm would be established by the abnormal,” Doris finally answered.

“Thanks Doris,” Baxter said. “One more question Doris. As someone who is interested in this psychology stuff can you explain to me how this methodology doesn’t replace God’s Word as the standard with Man’s tests responses as the standard via his collective responses? In these tests we have gone from God’s Word the standard to man the standard. I mean God didn’t take the test and yet this methodology acts as if he did.”

“Baxter, that’s not a question,” said Doris, “that is a accusation.”

“And a damn good one” Baxter thought.

“It sure doesn’t seem like this psychology stuff has come a long way since it began by feeling the bumps on people’s heads,” Baxter said as he took his leave of Doris.

When Baxter had received the tests from TRGM he decided that he might be better safe than sorry about the results, since he had heard more then one horror story about people being rejected for the mission field due to their psychological tests results, so he visited a pagan friend of his across the street who worked as a Pharmaceutical Engineer at Pfizer and asked his buddy if he would take the psychological tests for Baxter under Baxter’s name.

Baxter’s neighbor loved to operate on a quid pro quo basis and so he asked Baxter,

“What will you give me?”

“Will a couple of six-packs be enough incentive,” Baxter asked.

“Sure,” Marc replied. “Should I take those tests before or after I polish off the six-packs” he asked capriciously.

“Better take them afterwards” Baxter said. “It’ll make for better test scores.”

The next day Baxter dropped off the tests with his name and information on it already filled out along with a couple six-packs of Budweiser.

Baxter knew that Marc was an unbeliever. He had spoke many times to Marc about Marc’s harem of revolving girlfriends and had warned him that all those uppers that Marc took to keep going were eventually going to catch up with him. Marc hadn’t yet hit the wall of his sin but Baxter knew the time was coming when Marc would be willing to listen to him with more interest. Until that time Baxter kept up a sincere friendship.

Baxter figured, given Doris’ explanation about the tests, that a comparatively well adjusted pagan like Marc would score better on these exams then somebody like himself who was really quite counter-cultural.

And so on the day after Baxter had given him the tests Marc showed up with both the completed tests and the Bud empties to return. As he handed the tests and the empties to Baxter, Marc offered;

“That was a strange test.”

Baxter smiled, took the completed tests and the empties from Marc, and good naturedly said, “Yeah, I know, that’s why I asked you to take it.”

They both had a good laugh and Marc soon left. Baxter grabbed the TRGM envelope stuffed the completed tests in and after applying the proper postage dropped it in the mailbox.

Now, 6 months later, the time of truth had arrived. Baxter showed up at the TRGM Shrink’s door at the appointed hour. He was tempted to stretch out on the couch but he figured the Shrink had probably had that gag pulled on him a thousand times.

Dr. Darryl Meanswell opened their time together with a word of prayer. Upon saying ‘Amen’ he opened up their conversation with small talk asking how Baxter was doing at orientation. Baxter hit all the proper reply buttons and things were going smoothly.

Dr. Meanswell, said, “Baxter, I wish we had more time to go over these tests more thoroughly but since we are on a schedule I think we need to get down to business.”

Meanswell continued, “There is nothing in your tests that serves as a red flag to us that would prohibit you from serving on the Mission field with TRGM. The tests seem to indicate that you function well.” You seem to have a real affection for people…”

Here Baxter smiled and envisioned all the affection that Marc had for all those revolving women.

“And the tests seems to indicate you have boundless energy…”

Baxter could barely contain himself as he recalled Mr. Upper’s (Marc’s) 24-7 schedule.

Meanswell paused, and asked Baxter, “Does that sound like you Son?”

Baxter barely had enough energy to reply, “Yes sir it does.”

Finally, Dr. Meanswell, pointed out the bar on the test that indicated Baxter’s high intelligence, and said, “Baxter, the Mission field needs smart people. You’ll be a real asset.”

Baxter always knew that Marc didn’t get to be a Pharmaceutical engineer by watching the three stooges, but he also figured his plan to have Marc take the psychological tests was its own unique stroke of genius.

“These tests never miss,” replied Dr. Meanswell. “I don’t know how the church operated without them all these years.”

“Hard to believe, isn’t it Doc,” said Baxter.

Meanswell spent the rest of the time talking about some predilections that tests had pointed out that Baxter should beware of about himself. Baxter, compliantly agreed with each one.

Soon the shrink time was over and Dr. Meanswell dismissed Baxter.

Baxter, left, looking forward to telling his non-Christian friend Marc how ready for the Mission field he was.