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ugly american

The other night I was with my mate in her pub, and I stepped outside in to get a bit of cold air. As it was a smoking area, there was nothing fresh about it.  I stood there, and like always, started up a random conversation with who ever is standing next to me, and inevitably as it so often happens, the topic quickly changed to my overwhelming American accent and where I was from.

A young drunk lad in a group of young great pretenders piped up that he’d spent last summer in Washington. No, sorry, I’m from the other Washington dude. The state… not the capital of the country!  For a quick second, the Seattlite in me was quite indignant that when people hear Washington they automatically think of D.C. (as we in Washington state call it).  Luckily I refrained from telling him just how us Westerners feel about the whole topic when he launched into a marvelous tale that makes my skin crawl in more then one way!

He preceded to tell me how, one night, drunk, he was playing football or as we Americans say soccer, and these two people walked up to him. They asked him if he knew the Lord Jesus, which he’d said he knew of him, and they then asked to take him through this whole prayer to receive Christ. He’d never prayed before, and being quite drunk he went along with it. They prayed, and then the people went on their merry way, and he never saw them again.

This is why I hate admitting to anyone I am an American, let alone a Christian. Now this might sound like a pretty cool tale. No doubt those two people went on their way excited they added one more to the number of Christians in the world. But did they? No. Sadly all that came about from that encounter was a crazy story this kid could know bring back to the UK and tell his friends and random strangers about while drunk in the pub.

He’d made a mockery of the whole thing, and those ignorant Americans really thought they’d made a difference. This whole story pretty much sums up my view of the church in the US.  First of all, this kid was drunk, secondly these people made no attempt to follow up, to disciple him and grow an actual believer rather then just create a pitiful story.

photo credit: Elizabeth Street Brewery – Noe Valley via photopin (license)