12/10/09 Frederico, 18 Michael, 19
At the IIT student center I began a conversation with Frederico and Michael by asking about the meaning of Christmas. "Spending time with family" said Frederico. "Getting time off of school" according to Michael. They are both from Mexico on a five day trip visiting a friend who is a student at IIT. Both said they don't believe in God or eternal life. They said that back in their town in Mexico the only people who really believe in God are poor people who worship various saints in the Catholic Church, but most of their middle class friends either don't believe in God or go along with the superficial religion of their family. They also both said they don't think it is even possible that God exists, so I spent some time asking how matter and energy came to be in the first place. They couldn't have created themselves, therefore something totally outside our understanding must have created them. Frederico asked if I thought this was a sort of impersonal force. I told them that since at some point a decision was made to create, then this creative being must have a personality if making decisions, choosing one thing over another, and having preferences implies the existence of a personality. I also explained that if God does exist, His existence doesn't depend on our belief in Him in the same way choosing not to believe an oncoming truck won't hurt us won't change what happens to us if we stand in front of it. This seemed to make sense to them and I went on to present their accountability before God on judgment day. They forgot their excuse of not believing in God and tried to trivialize their sin, then tried to claim their good would make up for their guilt. After all this, they were ready to hear how they could possibly have their case dismissed so they wouldn't have to stand in guilt on judgment day. Just as I finished explaining God's gift of forgiveness through faith in Jesus, their IIT contact arrived to meet them. I thank God for His perfect timing.