On Thursday night, Daniel S. and I went out to the corner of 16th and Woodbine (in Markham) before the children’s outreach. We looked to the Lord for grace, reading from 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. We asked the Lord to help us to be men of sincerity as we spread the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
Though the Lord opened doors for us outside of the Tim Horton’s as well as at the plaza, he also ordained a very interesting dialogue with a man at the bus stop. Praise the Lord for the buses in Markham – they do not come as quickly as the buses in Rexdale! More time to converse!
I approached him and offered him a free coin with the 10 commandments on it – to which he declined. In a polite manner he told me that he did not want to talk about religion. With sincerity, I responded “why?” He said, “I do not believe in religions.” I assured him that I too do not believe that any man can work his way to heaven.
As we talked he said, “I believe God is in me.” He shared how everything is God. I appealed to the sky and to the world of created things suggesting that surely there is a creator. I asked him how all things came into existence. He was not sure, but he did not seem to want to discuss intelligent design.
After this little discussion on the created world, I proceeded to ask him some point blank questions. “Have you ever lied?” He said, “no.” “Have you ever wanted something that someone else had? Have you ever been envious . . . ?” He replied, “no, never; I do not care for a bigger house or what other people have.” I explained what Jesus taught about lust in Matthew 5:27-28, and then asked him, “have you ever had sexual thoughts toward a woman who is not your wife?” He was silent, but only for a moment. He said, “no,” and went on to explain how he looks at women without lusting. I asked him if he had ever sinned or done wrong and he said “no.”
He told us that he knows right from wrong because of his basic instinct. He also stated that he always obeys this instinct. When he said this, I was thinking of Romans 2:14-15, which confirms the truth that man has a conscience that bear witness to what is right and wrong. However, I did not refer to this passage, but simply asked him if he ever makes mistakes. He said, “yes.” I said, “what if you are mistaken about some of your basic instincts?” He said, “no, they are right.”
The topic of heaven and hell came up and he said, “heaven and hell are here.” I assured him, “this is not hell – this is mercy; we are not getting what we deserve.” Even so, he did not agree. He described how everything is God and that he (J—) was at least 1000 years old. Accordingly, I take it that he believes in reincarnation. I forget the exact number, but it was at least 1000 years. I was shocked, for I have never heard anyone make such a claim. He went on to tell us that he is crazy. Daniel and I smiled; we did not know what to say. What he was saying certainly sounded crazy, but he did not seem to have an mental problems; nor did he seem to convey that idea. Rather, he seemed to delight in being different and having his own way of life, thought and belief, which make him “crazy.” One major problem with his way is his persistence in thinking that whatever he believes is true. Such a notion shows that he is trying t play God. He is trying to de-god God and create his own reality.
I would have liked more time to try to show him that one’s subjective belief does not render things true. Rather truth exists outside of us whether we believe it or not; and somethings we believe simply are not true. Whatever the case, the bus was coming so I only had time to share two verses with him; I felt it wise to leave him with the very words of God which I had read in my Bible reading that morning: 1) “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8); and 2) “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10). He spoke a few more words as he left to go on the bus; he seemed thankful for our talk and gave us a friendly good-bye.