8/19/11 Manny, about 40
After a natural conversation in front of the house of a man named Manny I switched over to a spiritual conversation by asking about his beliefs. Manny said he believes in God and heaven and hell, and that he would be sent to hell for the bad that he has done earlier in life as a gangbanger. Yet he didn't really think this would be fair, since he does a lot of good things that show he is really a good person. As it turns out, he was only saying what he thought a church guy like myself might say - but he didn't really understand why. In fact, during his childhood he had visited a Baptist church and "prayed a prayer" that he now thought might save him, though he now has no idea what he had said or what it meant. I explained the law to him, helping him understand more clearly why he would indeed be guilty before God, and I talked about the repentence and faith that the prayer had probably consisted of. "They probably meant well" I explained, "but they didn't know that you really had no idea what you were saying". I explained how he needs to pray and express repentance and faith in Jesus on his own, and challenged him to do so before his head hits the pillow tonight.