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“STUNG! A Theophilus Hornby Mystery” (Ch. 19)

14 Jul

~~ Ch. 19 ~~
Wednesday morning was one of Hornby’s most anticipated classes. He had taught “Eternal Destinies” as an upper-level theology course for several years, and, although only five seniors had signed up for it this semester, he was pleased with their enthusiasm.

With the Dean’s permission, Hornby invited leaders of several cults to come to his class and lecture on the topic of the end times from their perspectives. As he lined up his guests, he gave each of them a brief overview of the course and the kind of Evangelical students they would be speaking to.

For the next eight weeks Hornby scheduled 30 minute lectures by such guests as: the head of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the state, a female orthodox rabbi, two Christian Science ladies, a couple of Mormon elders from the neighborhood, a Buddhist priest, and a chiropractor who represented the Baha’i religion.

“I hope this year’s class will be as courteous as previous years,” Hornby said to himself. Those former students had conducted themselves admirably as they listened, took notes, and asked questions of the guest speakers from the various cults and religions.

Hornby’s students had been trained well for they usually asked two probing questions of each of the guests after their lectures were finished: (1) What is your final authority for what you believe? and (2) What is your perspective on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ?

I’m sure this semester’s class will be just as polite — and perceptive, Hornby thought to himself.

He remembered a previous year when the leader of the local Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall gave his guest lecture. The students had challenged him on his dismissal of the biblical truth of eternal hell and had pretty much bested him on the topic of Jesus’ deity.

After the class was over, Hornby made it his practice to walk the guest lecturer to his or her car, giving them a small gift of appreciation for their lecture. He also took the opportunity to share the gospel as best he could.

He remembered talking with Mike, the Jehovah’s Witness leader, about the gospel. Mike was dressed in a three-piece suit and was doing his best to leave the campus as soon as he could. After he accepted Hornby’s small gift, Mike began jumping up and down and slapping at his legs! This was unusual behavior for a Jehovah’s Witness.

It turned out that Mike had been standing on a red ant hill and was being bitten by those fire ants! It was all Hornby could do to keep himself from saying, “You know, Mike, bad doctrine sometimes brings bad consequences!” But Hornby simply waved goodbye as Mike drove off.

Bad doctrine does bring bad consequences, Hornby thought to himself, as he got ready to lecture to his “Eternal Destiny” students. And what worse consequence could there be than eternal hell?

 

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