8/1/10 Tim, 20
A young man (Tim) was fishing at the park today and it was natural to start a conversation with him because we both like to fish and hunt. After a while I asked about his spiritual beliefs. He had been involved as a kid at a very large conservative Baptist church with a busing ministry that serves Chicago neighborhoods, has read the Bible through twice and memorized various scripture verses, and yet now says he doesn't believe in a particular god because there are so many religions. Tim favors the idea that people are reincarnated in the next life. I asked "If that is so, who sets the rules? Who judges what we will be reincarnated into? This still implies that there is a higher power to whom we will be accountable, much like the God of the Bible." Tim agreed and this led naturally to the "good person" questions based on the Ten Commandments. After realizing his guilty standing before God, Tim began to say that he does indeed believe in God, though he was vague about what that meant. I tried to explain what true saving faith looks like by comparing it to the difference between a person who merely says he believes in parachutes when jumping out of an airplane, and one who drops everything to actually put the parachute on. (Romans 13:14) When I said that this is what it is like to become a Christian, Tim suddenly said "I've done that. I prayed to accept Jesus when I was going to church." Whether he has or not isn't for me to judge but I went on to talk about what it means to live in daily fellowship with God, and Tim readily admitted that this is what he has been missing out on.