Thursday, April 29, 2010
Incident with an old Christian coot
I went to get my motorcycle inspected today here in the rural Bible Belt region of the good ole' U S of A. I drove up to the garage. The nice thing about being in a rural area is there is little to no waiting. As I drove up there was this old guy watching me. He was admiring my iron steed. After I dismounted he came over and said I had a nice bike and I thank him. He started telling me his very brief experience with bikes and "the" accident that kept him from ever wanting to ride again. It is a odd thing how people love to walk up to us riders thinking we are dying to hear their story. Ah, but some of it is entertaining I have to admit.
Anyway this guy talked scatteringly and suddenly brought up how wonderful God is. I responded "Uh, OK". He continued and stated that that is how we all got here, don't you believe.
I said "Nature brought me here. My mother and my father".
"Oh really", he chortled, "all your parents did was bring two little things together. You can't even see them".
"Well, yes that right, there are lots of things we cannot see."
"I believe I lived before and will stay here a short while and then be with Jesus forever"
"What makes you think you lived before"
"Oh lots of things"
"Please tell me one"
After a second he said, "Well, I cannot think of any at the moment, but I believe in God, Jesus and Creation".
"Good for you, but I don't. You believe in Creation. What do you make of all the fossils?".
"I have lived 80 years and I don't see any fossils. You need to go to Church, my friend"
"Oh, I have been there and done that. I was a minister"
"What kind of minister?"
"You should come to my church. See it, right over there, the Baptist Church. You need to come and get involved, sing in the choir"
"Really? I can't imagine anyone else being more involved than I was. I dedicated a good share of my life to it. It is not for me"
"You know Jesus is coming. The Bible says a day to God is like a thousand years and Jesus is coming back soon because it has been two thousand years. That is Bible prophecy"
"People see what they want to see in Bible prophecy. It is not very specific"
"Oh, no, friend you got it wrong. Bible prophecy is very specific"
"Don't think so. In the gospels, Jesus was talking to the disciples and others and said 'This generation will not pass away before they see the Kingdom of God'. But he did not return and they are all dead and gone"
"Oh, I sure that Bible text means something else"
"Well, all generations have looked at the prophecies of the Bible and said it applied to them. So the Bible prophecies are unspecific and anybody can apply them to any time."
"You know the most important book in the Bible is the book of John"
"Well, if you believe the Bible is the Word of God, which I don't..."
He almost lunge at me and got up close and said "YOU DON'T BELIEVE THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD AND YOU WERE A MINISTER". Felt like he was getting ready to slap me.
"Thats right. I have read it and don't believe it is"
"Well, I have read it 5 times and I KNOW it is the Word of God"
"Uh... well I have read it more than 500 times and I don't. Anyway you distracted me from my point. What was it? Oh, yeah. If you believe the Bible is the Word of God then no one book would be more important than the other".
"Oh, well you make a point there"
Luckily at that time the inspector called me to pull my bike up. The old Christian coot paced around frantically mulling over how could a person who was of the same skin color and in the same country believe so horrible a thing. I kept a eye on my bike because he pacing was around it. I thought he might take it out on it, but he didn't and then even though his truck was being worked on he walked away from the station. When I left I couldn't see him.
It is astounding how people can be so scared in their beliefs that they feel threatened when confronted with something different. Christians are ready to condemn Islamic fundamentalist but they don't see themselves in the same mirror. Their hostility is real and as Dylan sang, "If my thought dreams could be seen they probably put my head in a guillotine"