10/12/10 Cortez age 23
Late night on the sidewalk outside a Starbucks, I used a million dollar gospel tract to start a conversation with Cortez, a young African-American dressed hip-hop style. He remembered that I had given him one several months before, but couldn't remember what it said on the back. He was very open to talking about his faith because he just recently decided to give God a try, reading the Bible every day, going to church and attending Bible studies. But he clearly viewed all of these as things that would earn God's favor, allowing him to put his sinful past behind him. Though he knew he has been personally guilty of breaking many of the commandments I talked about, he felt that his recent church activities have been enough to convince God that he has turned around and is now a good person. He was pretty insistent about this, so I started to tell him that I really couldn't tell him much more because he isn't ready to listen. I got ready to leave, but he quietly said "I'm listening". I stayed to explain how his guilt could be removed through faith in Christ and encouraged him to keep up his church activities, but to pay special attention to who Jesus is as the only one who can bring us into a right relationship with God.