2/1/12 Calvin, about 45
On my way home from work today I stopped for some groceries. Wherever there are people there are opportunities to share the Gospel so I struck up a conversation with another shopper named Calvin. He was more than happy to vent his frustrations with the hypocrisy and injustice he sees in our government, capitalism, church, and God Himself, saying that he can't believe in a God who would let the world get into the horrible state it is in. He reminded me of some of the "Occupy" protestors I've seen on TV. We had a long, interesting discussion right there in the frozen foods aisle. Calvin grew up in a southside Chicago housing project and, beginning with his grandmother's Baptist church, has a history of moving from one church to another. However because of the hypocracy he says he found, he now claims he can't believe in God. What could I tell Calvin that he hasn't heard before? Calvin believes strongly in his own sense of right and wrong, so I asked how he measures up according to his own standard. Asking about specific sins such as lying helped him to see he is guilty of the same wrongs he judges in others. I asked how the world would be if people obeyed their God-given conscience. "Can we really blame God for allowing the world to be in this state, or should we take responsibility for it ourselves?" We didn't solve the world's problems in the 20 minutes or so that we talked, but I pray this conversation might have helped Calvin to stop blaming them on God.