10/11/10 Julio 41
After agreeing to answer my questions, Julio, who I met at a park today, told me he believes the world has been "brainwashed" by religious people to believe in God. He claimed the injustice and suffering of others convinces him that there is no God because if He exists, surely he would do something about it. :"Why then does it happen?" I asked. He blamed it on people who are selfish and don't care about others, while other people (like himself) try to leave the world a better place. He admits to "making mistakes" but believes he learns from them. He felt like he is already going through hell on earth, and as I asked It turned out that Julio was recently released from a federal prison for tying up a fellow employee in the vault and stealing almost $200,000 from a bank. He's been looking for work ever since but no one will hire him. As I explained God's law in leading up to the good news of Jesus, Julio especially related to courtroom analogies that help explain God's justice. For example, God, like a good judge, not only wouldn't take a bribe but would be offended that we would offer one, even our "bribe" of good works in payment for our sin. We can't determine the terms of the punishment we deserve, and I helped Julio to understand that, even though he said he won't believe in a God who is unjust and would allow suffering in this world, a God who is totally just would put him in even deeper trouble. Julio agreed he would need mercy, not the justice he deserves, on judgment day. He had to leave, but stayed to hear the good news, that Jesus is the sacrifice that satisfies God's justice.