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I Got A Friend... I'll Call Him "Bob" by Merwin

Updated on June 27, 2010

Whenever I can't use someone's name I default to "Bob"

Bob is my age so his parents came out of the depression, his Dad served in WWII. (Thank you Bob's Dad) So his father's views on religion is definitely "old school". And I am sure you are all familiar with the old school I speak of, the mantra is, "Never discuss politics or religion" and they mean it.

Its not that Bob's parents are unbelievers, they both believe, but they both do not really know what to do with a different expression of their same faith. You know, like... if they were Baptist and another person's faith is Episcopalian they would avoid the subject altogether in an effort to keep the peace, so to speak.

Oddly enough, for them, like many others this gets translated into not discussing religion at all, one simply believes and is saved.

Well... problem solved right?

Kind of a yes, but then again, not so much.

The question of the parents salvation for my buddy "Bob" and me too, by the way, is not a question at all. They are saved by claiming salvation through Jesus, it really is that simple and completed. And so, that is the "kind of yes" that I referred to... parents saved, done deal.

What about their children? What about Bob? No, not the Bill Murray kind.

You know... part of the "old school" method, as if there were such a method, more of an understanding among those that held to it... was to allow your children to find their own expression of faith.

This approach I believe, reinforced their position of "never discussing politics or religion". I think it is worth mentioning here that "politics" were always an exception to the rule for Bob's Dad, but religion was seldom or never an exception, according to Bob.

Here is the "not so much" crux of the issue.

Bob did, in fact, become a believer and even according to the "approach, method, rule, understanding, mantra".

In other words, Bob's new found faith was his, and his parent's faith, whatever it was, was theirs and Bob was and is, good with that.

Bob's life was changed though. He was totally in love with Jesus, Jesus in all the expressions of faith in Him. It really did not matter to Bob... Baptist, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Catholicism, if any denomination says Jesus is God and the only begotten Son of God and one can only be saved by His shed blood and resurrection, then that faith was populated by Bob's brothers, and sisters.

Bob recognized his parents rule, and still does, and even respects it. The only downside to the issue for Bob is that he can not (is not allowed to) discuss or mention 95% (+/-) of who he now is.

Sadly... this has been true for Bob exactly half of his life.

His parents love him, and he loves his parents. He would love to let them know that he loves their faith just as it is, and that he isn't interested in changing it, it is after all, their expression of faith and precious to him, but he cannot.

And, unfortunately, his parents only know the worst of their son - their son B.C. And, I  guarantee you that "Bob" is not the same person as he was before Christ.


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