#25 A Slippery Slope

November 1978

That evening I made my way back to the frat house after the MCM meeting.

I had almost forgotten about the chapter meeting that evening and about JD’s threats after the drama of the healing spectacle at MCM that night.

But the door to my room was open and waiting on me was Mom, sitting at my desk, with a frown on his face.

As I walked into my room he stood up and said, “Tik, you and I need to have a serious talk.”

Then Mom motioned for me to sit down on my bed while he took a seat at my desk chair.

I knew why he was here.

I had just gotten back from a Maranatha service and had missed my fourth chapter meeting in a row. And as President, heck, even as a plain old chapter member, that was not supposed to happen.

“Tik,” he said, “you need to know that JD [the frat. VP] tried to get the brothers to vote on impeaching you tonight in the frat chapter meeting. He could not get it to a vote. But he had thirty of the frat brothers on his side. The place was in an absolute uproar.”

“What?!!” I exclaimed. Thirty frat brothers out of one hundred and twenty siding with JD?????.

I sat back against the wall that my bed was nested against and put my hands to my head.

“I don’t think all thirty wanted to impeach you, they just wanted to send a message,” said Mom.

He crossed his arms.

“I took the floor and defused it. I told them you were going through a phase and that I would talk to you tonight.”

“It’s not a phase I am going through!” I said. “I don’t think this is any of your business talking to the chapter about my spiritual life or my walk with the Lord.”

“Yeah…well it IS my business when the Frat President is ignoring his duties and sending this place in a tizzy. Not to mention the fact that I see a good friend of mine jumping into a pit of alligators, or worse, Tik.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked.

Mom looked closely at me, and then before speaking he stroked his red mustache like he did when he was about to say something he knew you would not like.

“It means this: I don’t know who, or what, these people  are but I don’t like what I see, that’s what,” Mom said.

“Look Mom, you would not understand anything I am doing… you have rejected the gospel and this stuff would not make sense to you, regardless. The brothers and sisters at Maranatha are real Christians, that’s all.”

Mom sat back and pointed his finger at me, “This is exactly what I am talking about Tik. How do you know anything about me and God? But you know what?  Maybe you are right, maybe I don’t know crap about religion, so to be sure I called your old friend Chris whom I suspect DOES know about ‘this stuff’, as you put it.”

Chris was the head of the Baptist Student Union (BSU).

“Why did you go and call Chris?” I asked.

“And why shouldn’t I?” asked Mom.

As he crossed his arms he continued, “Hey you just said I could not POSSIBLY understand this stuff so I called an expert, a guy who went to preacher’s school after college, or whatever it is they call it. Well guess what? Chris thinks these guys are a cult. He has already had calls from three sets of parents here at Auburn whose kids are involved in this crazy group. These parents are worried about what they are seeing in their kids. How they are acting.”

I sat there for a moment.

“Tik not only are you spending almost all of your waking hours on this thing, Marawhaever, but frankly, you are changing- you are becoming a different person. No one can have a normal conversation with you.  It’s all scriptures, and stuff about God and Jesus… you have practically tried to convert the entire frat, and some of the frat brothers, and not just a few of them, don’t like it”

“Well, Mom,” I said, “I am a new man in Christ of course I am changing.”

“Tik, like I say, you are a grown man, but I just hope you know what you are doing here. If this keeps up I will tell you JD is going to get you impeached. And I am not so sure that I won’t support it.”

“C’mon “Mom”, things are going to settle down.”

“Maybe,” he said, “ But why should you have the title and perks of the office if you are never here and you ignore your job? And, by the way, that is not the only thing you are ignoring.”

“What are you talking about, ‘not the only thing?’ ” I asked.

I was getting angry.

“I checked the grade book; that is another thing I did today,” Mom said, grimacing.

Mom was Dr. Carl’s teaching graduate student, my engineering professor, from whom I was taking two courses this session. Dr. Carl, as I have mentioned was also my student advisor. Mom assisted Dr. Carl in the lab, taught lower level courses, and helped Dr.Carl grade tests and exams.

“Hey, you can’t do that,” I sputtered pulling myself out of the bed I was sitting on.

“Well, I did,” said Mom. “Tik, you have got to be kidding- a “D” on the first structures examination.???What in the hell is that about!? This stuff should be child’s play for you. Dr. Carl tells me that you also have been late for at least five classes and you have skipped out on two classes. This is not like you. You and I both know that these engineering courses have to be treated like a full time job.”

“Look, Mom, I have it under control. I don’t need your help… so stay out of it okay?”

“Like I said Tik, like I said you are a grown man. But if you have any sense you will listen to me. Just cool your jets for one more minute. Chris wants you to come by to see him.”

“Why?” I asked

“Get off of it Tik, it’s about everything we are talking about. He has found out some stuff about the Maranootha or whatever hell they are called, and he wants to show it to you. Call him, he said he will meet you anytime, anywhere.”

“I’ll think about it,” I said.

Well I did not go to see Chris.

I was to busy, discipleship groups in the morning,  classes, trying to cram study time into lunch and any free time during the day. Nightly three to  four hour services and Maranatha witnessing sessions on campus, putting up posters for special events, helping set up for Maranatha meetings and my shepherding sessions with Marty’s group all got in the way of my seeing Chris.

There was not time for anything. And my grade showed it.

On all my mid terms I scored all “Cs” and “Ds’.

And as for Sheila?  Well other than one or two lunch meetings and a note or two for her and from her; we were incommunicado. In fact I pretty much had cut myself off from my former friends and they had cut themselves off from me.

Other than the “Christian Clan in the frat” all of the brothers were avoiding me.

And JD was leading the charge to have me thrown out.

I spoke to Marty my shepherd in Maranatha about it but he showed me numerous scriptures that said that we would be persecuted and scorned.

Once again he said that I should rejoice what was going on in the frat and besides at least sixteen people had come to Jesus because of my leading the overcoming life.

Saving souls and overcoming in this world why that was eternal stuff, that was Kingdom stuff, and proof that God was leading me and that I was doing His work.