Flash Fiction: Bobby and the Arminian

Look Bobby! I got you an airplane. Pastor John takes the box out of the shopping bag and hands Bobby the new toy. It is Bobby’s first toy and he is puzzled.

“How did it get so small?”

“They shrunk it the better to play with it.”

“How does it work?”

“You hold it like this.” Pastor John takes out of the box and holds it up in the air. “And then you move your arm like this and whoosh! there it gooooes!”

“What happens if you stop whooshing?”

“Then it stops.” Pastor John drops the plane and it bounces off the carpet. ‘But you can always just start over again!” He picks it up and whooshes the plane with is arm. “See! It can even fly upside down! It can do anything!”

Pastor John smiles at Bobby’s hesitation to embrace the concept of toys. “Well Bobby, you know I’m a pastor so I’m going to do what pastors do and give you an illustration. This airplane is exactly like our salvation in Jesus. It goes as long as you push it. God gives us things. But he expects us to use them. We just have to imagine ourselves in the cockpit and God is our co-pilot. See? And he wanted to give us salvation so badly that he died to give it to us. So we need to push it all the time to show Him we understand what He wanted.

And we can always start over?

Now you’re getting it champ. I’ll bet there are some real nice things to see from a cockpit out on the porch. And the quieter you are, the more you can see.

Bobby picks up the plane and starts to go outside, then turns: Will I ever get a real salvation?

Pastor John is startled by the question, but quickly recovers. “Oh. You mean like a real airplane? Well, no metaphor is perfect, the way we aren’t perfect. What you have is the real salvation. That’s how it works. The only possible one. And being in the church enables to push other people’s planes when they get tired! You got a blue plane. But other people have can red, green or even white and black planes. But they are all the same. We help each other out that way and prove we got the love of Jesus! Where’s the love of Jesus Bobby?!”

Down in my heart.

Where? Pastor John points two index fingers at Bobby and widens his eyes.

You know where it is. I already said it.

“Now that’s the kind of dogged determinism God needs, champ. Go outside and practice pushing your salvation around so you can help other people push theirs when the time comes to help out your fellow man.”

Do you tell the adults that while we’re playing?

All the time. You’re a man now, son. You just need some experience in the cockpit. And you’ll have a great time flying around! ..And one last thing: look out for those Calvinists. They play like they’ve got a real salvation and we’re just the poor kids playing with a toy salvation because we can’t afford the real thing. And it may appear to be that way. But it isn’t so. Why would I lie? Don’t you ever believe them Bobby. You keep your eye in the sky open for ’em! You save for your children exactly what your parents believe.

Bobby heads for the porch.

Oh! Bob? How is your mother and father’s whooshing medicine holding out?

Mom’s anti-depressants and Dad’s Viagra?

I knew you were an intelligent boy.

I guess they got plenty. They take them all the time.

The screen door slams as Pastor John heads for the kitchen.


Hours later Pastor John is still carefully explaining to Bobby’s parents that it is the right thing to do to admit the government bailouts were a legitimate action of their neighbors who need a hand to shoulder their burden. “It’s an invisible metaphor for Bobby’s plane, ya’ see. They just need some help pushing their salvation along. To help them means we’ve got the love of Jesus in us. Where’s the love of Jesus?!”


Psalm 12:2-4  They speak falsehood every one with his neighbour: with flattering lip, with a double heart, do they speak.  Jehovah will cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaketh proud things,  Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail, our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

Jeremiah 23:16,17  Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they lead you to vanity; they speak a vision of their own heart, not out of the mouth of Jehovah.  They say constantly unto them that despise me, Jehovah hath said, Ye shall have peace. And they say unto every one that walketh in the stubbornness of his heart, No evil shall come upon you.

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

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