11/29/12 Kim, about 25
Outside a store, I used a million-dollar gospel tract to attempt to start a Gospel conversation with an Asian-American man named Kim, but when he found out it was religious in nature he refused to take it, saying he had no belief in God or anything spiritual. So I was surprised when we went on to discuss spiritual beliefs there on the sidewalk for almost an hour. Kim has had exposure to Catholicism at a Catholic school, Protestantism in an evangelical youth group, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and has many friends and family members who identify themselves as Christians. From all these experiences he had many criticisms and reasons for not believing in God, but it seemed that the one that stuck out in his mind and is the most revealing of the failures of the church was when he told me about his experiences with the evangelical youth group; “I went with my friends for several weeks, and they did many strange things that I didn’t understand, but the thing that caused me to never want to go back or have anything to do with them was when they had several of the kids eating dog food” Kim looked on this incident as an embarrassing display of the leader’s control over the minds of the youth. Now I have a lot of experience with this sort of youth ministry myself, and I know it was probably part of an attempt at entertaining kids with humor or competition, but it sure was embarrassing to hear it described from Kim’s perspective. He went on to describe the weird behaviors of Catholic ceremonies, the creepy mind control of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (I explained to him that they really aren’t Christian), and the lame attempts of his friends and family to convince him to become a Christian, so I asked him “You know what is the weirdest thing of all about us Christians? Why is it that our entire belief system revolves around a man killed on a cross 2000 years ago? What do you think that has to do with us today?” Kim had no idea. His friends and family hadn’t told him, and somehow he hadn’t heard it at the youth group or Catholic school. I understand that if someone wants to find reasons for unbelief, they will find them. But let’s not make it easy for them, and let’s make sure we don’t forget to tell them about their need for Jesus.