12/28/10 Mark and Javaid, both about 40
After an evening church meeting I stopped at a "Jason's Deli" and found two college professors, Mark and Javaid, a Buddhist and a Muslim, who were happy to talk with me about their respective beliefs. Both took an intellectual approach toward their own religions and seemed to value human reasoning and discourse more than even their own beliefs. I could tell they enjoyed feeling part of the enlightened elite who rise above the ignorant masses, and their intellect clearly caused them to ignore their consciences as I tried to use the law to show them their need for God's gracious forgiveness. I didn't get very far. They found many "spiritual" ways to rationalize their sin. In fact, after we talked for an hour and a half, they both thanked me for the reminder to be more faithful to the faith they professed. They asked if I enjoyed the conversation as much as they did and I said "Well, it was kind of frustrating, because I feel like you have in your mind an idea of what Christians believe that keeps you from listening to what I'm really saying" They had been happy to discuss their own beliefs but never once asked me about mine, feeling they already had it figured out. So I told them they had fallen into the same trap that most people fall into, including many church people. They trust in their good works for a better life to come. I challenged them to really listen to what I was saying and to read what I gave them, a "Why Christianity" booklet that compares world religions and explains how only biblical Christianity deals with our sin problem. They listened but simply could not comprehend what I said, even though I spoke plainly about it, almost as if they had blinders on that shielded them from the truths of the gospel. It was a real-life reminder to me of the truth of 1 Cor. 2:14 "The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit."