10/1/10 Bill, about 45
After he agreed to answer a few questions I asked Bill, a man I found sitting at McDonalds, if he believes in any sort of higher power. He said he believes in God and trusts in Jesus, reads the Bible often but no longer attends the Pentecostal church he had been heavily involved with for many years. I asked about his story and found out he was raised in a Catholic home but both parents died when he was about 13. He became angry at God and decided not to believe in Him and turned to drinking and drugs until meeting his wife and joining her Pentecostal church in his 20's. His description of speaking in tongues was the same as that of other Pentecostals I've spoken with. After 15 years his wife had an affair and they divorced, leaving him bitter and angry. He left the church, turned to alcohol again, and hasn't been back in ten years. He claims he now drinks "only once in a while" and that he reads his Bible but feels he doesn't need to go to church to be close to God. Bill believes he will go to heaven because he is righteous. Was this the righteousness we can have only through repentance and faith in Jesus, or the self-righteousness based on our so-called good works that will only condemn us in the end. I was well along in the process of trying to determine just that, but was sidetracked with talking about the importance of church, not just for his own sake but to encourage others. Suddenly Bill had to get going. Did he suddenly realize how late it was getting and that he had to be somewhere, or did it get "too hot in the kitchen"?.