Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't Throw the Baby out with the Bath Water!

So I told you yesterday about the new book I was reading, "What difference do it make?"  I also told you it was a sequel to "Same Kind of Different as Me."  Make sure you read "Same Kind of Different as Me" before you read "What difference do it make?" because you will get so much more out of it.

These books are true; they tell the story of how an incredible woman ministered to the homeless in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the fabulous connection her aristocratic, snotty husband made with a homeless black man who lived on the streets.  I have been mesmerized with the whole story for a long time.  The homeless black man was originally from Red River Parish about 75 miles from where I live.  The fact that there are others like him all around him has captured my mind and my heart.  I haven't done anything with it yet, but this story with me isn't over.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  I am now reading "What difference do it make?" and am just as enthralled as I was with the first book.

However, yesterday, I hit a major snag.

Ron was describing how his wife witnessed to him and ministered to him through her prayers.  It is a beautiful description and I was reading along a bit teary-eyed until I came to this passage:

"To tell you the truth, even I felt intimidated when praying with her.  Deborah prayed with such passion -- not like some nut-ball holy roller but with such knowledge of the Father as though He was her daddy and she was His favorite child..."

BAM!  Excuse me?  "...nut-ball holy roller..."  I stopped reading.

I am a Pentecostal.  Pretty passionate about my God and all things spiritual, actually.  The church of which I am a part has been in existence for over 60 years and was labeled in years past "the holy roller church." So, I guess Ron was putting me in the box he labeled "nut-ball holy roller."

I was offended.

I am not a nut-ball.  Most of the times, I pray quietly.  The times I do pray out loud it is a conversation with God and I have never, ever even considered the fact I may be a "nut-ball."  I wanted to stop reading, close the book, and give it to someone who might be spurred by its message to do something good for somebody, and forget about it.

Then it hit me that Ron's whole story is that of a man who overcame his prejudices and propensity toward judgmentalism to love people on the streets who were incredibly different from him.  

He just hasn't overcome his judgmentalism toward "nut-ball holy rollers" yet.  But he will.  God has brought him a mighty long way and he can conquer this, too.

And, in the meantime, I might need to look in the mirror and check out the level of my prejudice and judgmentalism toward people that I don't understand, also.  After all, that's the whole message of this book.  

This whole thing just illustrates beautifully the point that we will never totally agree with an author on every point he makes in a book.  But if there are enough truths there to overcome the negatives, we must learn to glean the nuggets and throw away the rest.  

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Read it anyway.


  1. There's nothing wrong with praying quietly, out loud, or even out loud with passion and earnest(see Elijah) - what makes the difference is the faith and sincerity of the prayers, and the prayer life relationship to back up the simple prayers.

    I hope the author reads your blog. He obviously needs to meet some more normal Pentecostals.

  2. :-) Thanks, Ben. You are in his area...look him up and tell him! :-)