Back in Junior High, I’d go to school wearing my khaki pants. Folk would snort behind open hands. Eyes would laugh. Mouths would spew names. After all, who wore khakis in the 80’s? That was the time of two tone denim jeans, of acid wash and of neon.
Stupidly enough (and probably why I got chased a lot), in my annoyance, I sometimes spoke back.
It didn’t matter to people if I liked my khakis, or if I hated acid wash and thought it looked utterly stupid or if I abhorred two-tone jeans (I didn’t: I wanted and eventually got a pair).
What mattered to everyone was that khaki’s wasn’t their style. It was what old people wore: maybe their parents. It definitely wasn’t what everyone was wearing nowadays so why would a kid wear those ugly khaki pants? Khaki means poop in some languages. Those poopy pants.
Strange: this is how I’m feeling in 2008 as a Non-Calvinistic, Dispensational, Primillenial, Non-Denominational, Soft-Cessational Christian who hangs out online.
I’ve been a believer, trusting the Lord for twenty six years now. I grew up in New York City and my faith thrived there–of all places…can you believe how the Lord used that? God had the mercy to put me in a home devoted to rearing the family in the Lord and a father who was so devoted to scholarly thinking that he would order a (liberal) commentary and read through the whole thing before putting it back on the shelf that was within arms reach of me. I was reading about J and P sources from those red and white commentaries on Genesis before I read through the whole Bible!
Today, I think I’m fairly well read. I haven’t read everything (by far no) but I’m constantly picking up commentaries (either purchasing or renting from the library), have a wide range of study materials, have spent uninterrupted hours in study until wee hours of the morning, have a large collection of notes on both paper and computer, sat under the teaching of very many able teachers, have read the counterargument from several high profile teachers, have welcomed the balance that comes from exposing myself to all that. I’m not boasting because the fact is that all this proves how much I don’t know and how much I try to play catch up. The conclusions I’ve reached on certain topics have come after years of research. I gave up my Calvinistic tendencies to embrace Non-Calvinism. I gave up my lack of care for eschatology to embrace Dispensationalism over the other systems while progressing the system to a point that I’m comfortable of calling it my own.
So why refer to what I’ve concluded to be correct with snide pejorative terms or maybe hide in your corner of the Internet with that oh-so-knowing-e-smirk as if you have it All Down and I’m so very dumb, still to be wearing my Dispensational, Non-Calvinistic, Soft-Cessational, Primillineal, Non-Denominational pants.
I know your parents probably wore this but did you ever stop and think that maybe (just maybe) I went out and bought what I’m wearing with those countless hours of study, the influence of the Spirit and the workings of conviction after reading opposing arguments? Oh I know, I know: You don’t believe what I believe in regards to the Faith–but does that mean that because of that I’ve earned labels like Left-Behind-ist, Pelagian, short-sighted anarchist?
You know, It took another few years, a sitcom and a Gap commercial for people to start realizing khakis were cool.Ã‚Â “Wow,” folk would start to say “I always wore khakis.”
I don’t know if Dispensationalism will make a comeback on college campuses or the internet. I don’t expect it to. I think most people will start to shrug off all labels and say “we have to worry about today” (which Dispensationalists have historically argued for).
So yeah, go ahead. Use the terminology that you’re gonna’ use anyway. Snicker behind open hands at the guy still wearing what he’s concluded is right. Maybe the day will come when I get the last laugh, if the Psalmist has anything to say about this.
If not, don’t be surprised when I get annoyed and snap back.