8/1/11 Albert and Palmer, both 21
Driving across Wisconsin I stopped at a gas station with a Subway sandwich shop where I found two young men at a table. They gave me permission to ask a few questions and we started an interesting conversation about their beliefs. Palmer is a Native American and spoke of the tension between his ancestral traditions and Protestant Christian beliefs. His friend Albert said he believes in ghosts, poltergists and some sort of spirit world after we die but claimed he didn't believe in God. "One man couldn't have created all this." "Do you think it was a group effort then?" I asked. "I just think if one man created all this then we would see some evidence that he existed, like his bones or something." "So you think its possible that God could have made the world but then died, leaving us alone?" Albert went on to explain his theory that aliens visited Earth, taught us some of their knowledge, and one day it will be our turn to do the same for another planet. Some questions about his past revealed that he had attended a Baptist church with his father, that his parents had divorced and he had helped take care of his irresponsible mother, but three years ago she had suddenly died of a heart attack. He refused to believe in a God who remained silent after two weeks of intense prayer about why she had to die. "Do you think if God did exist that He would owe you anything?" I asked. "I hadn't thought of that... No I think we humans have screwed up pretty bad". I explained how sometimes people can look at a glass half filled with water and say that its half-empty. "You could be mad at God for cutting your mother's life short, or you could be thankful that you knew her as long as you did". I could tell this really hit home with Albert. I went on to share about God's law and grace by first assuring Albert that I didn't just assume that he now believed in God's existence, but this wasn't necessary. He already did.