The First Question
It was this past Friday, the last day of school, and I was standing in the bus, facing the rear, with my right knee in the driver’s seat and my right arm resting on the barrier between the seat back and the first passenger seat behind me.
The students were loading (all Kindergarten thru 4th graders), and I was watching the chaos when a young African-American boy, no more than 3rd grade, asked a question…
“Why you wear’n a vampire ring?”
Now, there are some questions that immediately make sense, and then there are others that make one stop wonder if he really heard what he thought he heard…
“What vampire ring?”
All I wanted was clarification, but I never expected the conversation that would follow.
“You ever watched a vampire movie?”
“Yeah,” I answered with a tilt of my head.
“They hold dat up to da vampires. Why you got dat on yo’r ring?” the boy asked.
“That’s a cross,” I replied. “It’s not a ‘vampire’ ring!”
“Yeah,” said the boy, “and so why you got dat on yo’r ring?”
The Open Door
As most of you know, it’s a big NO-NO for a Christian to openly share his faith on a public school bus. Well, it’s at least a big NO-NO for the bus driver to do it.
But what do you say when some kid asks the meaning for the cross on your ring? Do you let it go, or go for it?
I went for it!
After all, it was the last day of school! What are they gonna do, fire me? …Maybe.
“This is the ring I got for graduating from seminary. I’m a Christian, and this cross on my ring symbolizes the cross on which my Savior, Jesus Christ, died for the sins of the world. It has nothing to do with vampires!”
All I got in response was an “Oh.” Then the boy proceeded to pick on the kid next to him and forgot that I was even there.
The Second Question
So, the first question eventually led me to ask myself the second, saddest, most troubling question of the whole day…
“How can a child grow up in America and only associate the Cross of Christ with vampire movies and know nothing of the true meaning?”
Evidently, very easily. And it breaks my heart.
Ironically, when’s the last time you ever saw a vampire movie, a modern one, in which the Cross had any value at all? The last one I remember was Fright Night back in the 1980’s. So, not only did this kid not know the true significance of what was on my ring, if anything he probably thought it was nothing more than a joke.
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; – 1 Corinthians 1:23
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
27 responses to “The Vampire Ring”
Where is Temple? Is this the one that D. Lee Robertson ran?
Yes! But it changed a lot over the years. Just couldn’t stay solvent.
How about that! I used to go to the Sword of the Lord conferences as a child and heard him preach.
Wow, what a small world.
I met (online) a blogger who also attended Temple, back in the late 70’s I think.
His name is Richard Nikoly (I’m probably spelling that last name wrong) and he runs “Free the Animal.” I don’t think he would mind me saying that he is now about as far as someone can be from IFB’ism. Very interesting person.
Yeah, “Free the Animal” doesn’t sound like the type who’d put a hymnal between him and his girlfriend 😉 But if you don’t know, Highland Park sold all the property and built a smaller church out where Camp Joy is … Church of the Highlands. Tennessee Temple University closed, but Temple Baptist Seminary merged with Piedmont International University. The school and seminary stopped being IFB long before it closed, though. It was still very conservative, theologically, however…just not legalistically so.
Wow, I didn’t know all that had happened. I knew the focus of IFB’sm for Christian schools in the South had more turned towards Crown College, but didn’t know why.
I’m probably something of an anomaly. I still attend an IFB church. But it doesn’t have the IFB history, in that it didn’t spring from Hyles-ism, or PCC or BJU.
They just became independent due to disagreements with SBC leadership.
Plus, our pastor grew up Catholic but didn’t go to any name IFB school which I think helps our church avoid a lot of legalism.
And to think I pastor an SBC church! How far I have fallen! 😜
I grew up in the SBC, loved Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanley back in the day. My father was somewhat active in advocating for a return to conservatism within the SBC during the Bailey Smith days. (I guess that would be pre Smith?) But honestly, now, I would (and do) find it harder to attend one.
Not judging you, just saying where I’m at.
Well, at least you’re reading my blog, right? That’s like putting your pinky toe in 🙂
I wrote a long comment explaining that some of my best friends are SBC but I lost it when my phone rang. 🙂
Now THAT is sad.
Do I detect a note of sarcasm? 🙂
Heck no! I truly hate typing something up on my phone only to lose it in a blink.
I listened to a bit of your sermon, I’ll circle back around and listen to the rest on my way to work Tuesday. I’m currently listening to Nehemiah but it’s my second pass through and I bet he won’t mind a bit if I take a break. 🙂
It’s the one a few posts down on your blog.
“How Do You Want to be Known?” Not a bad one, if that’s it. Now, if you want to listen to one that got a lot responses, listen to the one I preached a while back about the life of Moses. That’s one that blessed my heart, and I preached it (must have been a God thing 😊). It’s in the sermon archives under “Who Am I?” Matter of fact, I may need to listen to it again.
I’m in the Old Testament right now so Moses would be great. I’ll look for it! Thanks friend.
I’m 😂. I’m reading a few paragraphs into your Doctrine of Separation post and realizing that I’m almost the exact IFB you’re preaching to/against. 🙂
I hope it doesn’t make you too angry 😉. I tried desperately to make solid biblical points that would help to unite my brothers and sisters where possible, but I know what I wrote was controversial.
It doesn’t make me angry at all! I could tell you were sincere. I guess when I say I’m that type of IFB, I mean in the sense that I do believe in separation and I used to be very caught up in that.
I think now it’s more of personal convictions that drive me because I’m so over typical high-control IFB pastors that preach “keepers at home” (which I did when my children were small and agree with) but then they pull the family and especially the women out of the home constantly to step and fetch in programs they design to get more members.
That’s just one example of a burr I have towards not trusting pastors in general, but still believing in separation.
Not because the preacher says it, but because I see the Biblical truth of it in-spite of the pastor’s pure or possibly impure motives for preaching that.
You should follow Mitch Temley if you don’t already!
I do! He’s a buddy.
What a great lesson for us all to learn. Thanks for the insight and sharing. Also, thanks for risking it all for Jesus.
Great and sad post. Thank you for risking it all to tell a little boy about Jesus. Thank you for planting a seed. Oh how I look forward to the rest of the story. I believe that the seed you planted will be watered and it is going to grow and then it will be ripe because Jesus came for this little boy as well. God be with you today.
Thank you for going the course.:)