9/8/10 Mario, about 35
I brought my son early to his soccer game and had some extra time so I went for a walk and found a bicyclist (Mario) resting at a park bench. With his permission I asked about his beliefs: "Of course I believe in life after death" he told me, and went on to speak of good and bad karma, reincarnation, and what he was really passionate about, the effects of junk food on our energy "vibrations". He didn't follow any organized religion but claimed to have tried being a "born-again Christian" among other religious beliefs. He seemed to be quite biblically literate, but when held accountable to particular biblical teachings he was quick to say that the Bible is man-made and can't be trusted. As I clarified more and more biblical truths he began to agree more and more to a biblical perspective but eventually after I shared about how Jesus' death on the cross satisfied God's demand for the just penalty for our sins, Mario agreed but added that reincarnation helps purify our souls and makes us fit for heaven. I pointed out that the only opinion that matters is God's, and if he declares us forgiven from the penalty of sin when we have faith in Jesus, then we can go on to live in a right relation to Him regardless of our guilt and the punishment of hell we deserve.. Our long conversation took many turns, but this was a point that got Mario's attention. I left him with more to read and my contact info, inviting him to contact me to talk further.