5/23/11 Milán, 32
I was walking down the sidewalk and handed a million dollar bill gospel track to an oncoming man named Milan, who has immigrated to Chicago from Chilé. When he found out they were religious tracts he asked why they were made to look like million dollar bills. "That's a good question", I said and told him that its sort of a collectors item that people are less likely to throw away, and that my hope is that it will help start a conversation about more important things, like our eternal fate. Milan told me he has recently left his Seventh-Day Adventist Church, feeling disillusioned by its leadership and by Christian leaders in general. He felt they were out to take advantage of others in God's name. He enjoyed talking about religion and at first sounded like he knew a lot about the Bible, but I soon found out he rejects much of it in favor of his own ideas. He thinks God made a mistake in giving mankind free will and in using the Ten Commandments to fix our sinful condition. He thinks Jesus made up for these mistakes by setting an example for God the Father to see and for people to follow. Just as a weak foundation leads to a poorly built house, poor theology inevitably leads to poor conclusions, and later in the conversation Milan told me he feels God can't hold us accountable for our sins since He thinks of sin as simple mistakes in judgment rather than the rebellion against God's authority that they are. He said "God made us this way, and it is His fault for giving us rules He knew we would break". I told him this was the oldest trick in the Bible, that Satan has been sowing seeds of rebellion toward God ever since that first day in the garden when he asked - "Did God really say...?" I explained the Gospel fairly clearly, but Milán ignored (rejected) it, continuing to place his trust in man made theories rather than biblical truths.