Evangelical Man Cracks Predestination Code

OVERLAND PARK, KS–Ever since he became a Christian at a junior high summer camp, Fred Robertson has wanted to spread the gospel. His evangelism was largely ineffective, though, until after he graduated from college and started a job as an efficiency consultant. For his job, he travels to various factories and advises the managers on the best ways to get the most out of their employees.
“The man-hours wasted every day in the American workplace is staggering,” explains Aaron Dowell, Robertson’s boss.
Since he started working for Dowell, Fred Robertson has learned that while boosting morale and increasing accountability are pathways to increased efficiency, they are not a miracle cure-all. “The approach doesn’t work on everyone,” says Robertson. “Some people just aren’t good workers.”
Robertson is a single man who lives alone, so when he is not away on a project, he has a lot of time to sit at home and think. One afternoon, he had a revelation.
“I could count on one hand the number of people I’ve led to Christ. And I realized my problem was that I was witnessing to anyone and everyone. I was working under the mindset that everyone I met could potentially become a Christian, and I was wasting my time.”
The previous Sunday, Robertson’s pastor, Mike Lemmer, preached a sermon on the doctrine of predestination, the belief that God has “already chosen everyone who will ever be saved.” Lemmer exhorted his congregation to take comfort and humility from their position as God’s chosen people, but Robertson came away with a different epiphany.
“If God has chosen who’s going to get saved, then that mean he also knows who he hasn’t chosen. In other words, he knows who the good workers and the bad workers are,” explains Robertson.
In order to increase his evangelism efficiency, Robertson decided to take a break from “just witnessing” in order to figure out who the predestined people of God are, and then to target his message to them. The problem, Robertson recalls, was to find out who God loves.
“At first, it was hard to narrow down my target audience. I mean, of course the liberals in Hollywood and New England were out, but I live in Kansas, so I wasn’t exactly running into them every day anyway. But I kept at it. I had to crack the code.”
Robertson spent a day parked across the street from a Planned Parenthood clinic writing down the license plates of cars in the parking lot, but the work of matching up plates with people was slow going. Eventually, he decided to simply stay away from the clinic altogether.
Later, Robertson researched on the internet. “I kept hearing all these Christians saying how much God hates gays and Democrats, so I crossed them off my list. I also–accidentally, let me assure you–found out there’s a strip club down a few miles down the highway. That place is dead, too. Spiritually dead, I mean.”
In his reading, Robertson came across a number of sermons from the 1970s and 1980s condemning rock and roll musicians, as well as anyone who listened to that kind of music. He did not stop there, however.
“One of the most important things in preaching the gospel is contextualization. That means you think about what the message was back then and figure out what it means today. And today, rock music isn’t all that controversial. There are even Christian rock singers now. But around here, no one likes all that hip-hop rap stuff. Once I realized that, I knew all that Mexican hip-swinging dancing music had to go, too.”
Given the prevalence of “ethnic music” in the cultures in which it originates, Robertson decided to leave out every minority he could think of. “African Americans, Mexicans, Arabs, Chinese, Europeans, none of them are worth my time,” says Robertson.
The further along he got in his predestination study, Robertson made a startling discovery. “Everyone who could be saved, they already were saved. That was such a relief,” he recalls. “It made my job so much easier.”
When asked about his current evangelism activities, Robertson replies, “I don’t witness that much anymore. Now, I mostly just spend my time thanking God that I made the cut.”
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