3/24/10 Mark, about 20
Walking down the sidewalk I came across a very flamboyantly dressed and decorated young man and his partner waiting outside a store. I can't remember how I started the conversation but I noticed that he had shaved off his eyebrows and replaced them with very bold and flowery tattoos. Since I couldn't ignore them I made them a topic of conversation, asking about them with interest but neutral in my tone. I went on to ask if he had any sort of spiritual beliefs and Mark confidently said he was "saved, baptized, repented and believes in Jesus". However, I soon could see that he had learned a lot of evangelical rhetoric but believes none of it. He grew up attending a Baptist church with a busing ministry "where I was baptized 13 times" as he put it. He was confident he could pass my "good person test' but soon realized he failed miserably. When I asked about adultery he said "Well, I'm gay and I can't get married so I think God gives me a pass on that one". I felt no need to start an argument about homosexuality; I just asked if he had ever lusted after anyone and he agreed he had broken that commandment too. Will he be guilty or innocent on judgment day? "I guess I'd be guilty but I don't think God really cares about all that. I believe God just wants me to be a good person and, besides, I don't believe in the Bible anyway. How do I know what you say about God is true?" I explained how picking and choosing beliefs about God that we are more comfortable with is the same as worshipping false images, breaking the Second Commandment, and that we need an outside authority to base our beliefs on, which I believe to be the Bible. We parted on good terms, and I was thankful for the opportunity to speak some truth into this young man's life and his partner who had been listening with interest.