Today’s post is a little off topic. It is an actual conversation I had today. I am a commercial truck driver by trade and today I an old white haired man, who is also a truck driver, walk up to my truck and ask if I knew where I was going when I die. Instantly my thoughts were “oh no, this old boy has no idea what he has just walked into.” I’m polite, so I welcomed the conversation. Following is the conversation exactly as it happened.
Old Timer: ” Do you know where you are going after you die?”
Me: ” Can anyone REALLY know what is going to happen after they die?”
Old Timer: ” Of course! Do you believe in God?”
Me: ” Which one?”
OT: “What do you mean which one? There is only on true God.”
Me: “According to who? Hindu’s believe Krishna is god, Muslims’ believe Allah, so I ask you again, which one?”
OT: “The one who created the heavens and the earth. The God in the Bible.”
Me: “No sir I’m not a believer in God or God’s.”
OT: “Oh!” ( One would think I grew horns and a forked tail by the look he gave me.)
At this point I can see the fight or flight syndrome occurring in his head. I don’t think he was mentally prepared for someone like me.
Me: “Pushing your Bible aside, what evidence do you have that can prove the existence of God?”
OT: “Well, I have Jesus as proof. He died for our sins and all who believe in him will be with him in heaven.”
Me: “okay, according to historical records, Horace, Mithra and many other gods have claims made that they also died and rose on the third day to remove people’s sins. So what makes Jesus more special than them?”
OT: “If you were to look in their graves their bones are still there but not in Jesus’ grave because he rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the father in heaven.”
Me: ” Okay, let me ask you a question, Do you believe in the Holy Trinity as far as three in one?”
OT: “Of course, only a fool wouldn’t.”
Me: “Okay fair enough, I can see why you would feel the way you do, but answer this for me; How can Jesus be seated at the right hand of the father when according to your beliefs Jesus is the father?”
OT: “Uh…Well…hmm…because the Bible said he is.”
Me: “So you believe it because the Bible said it, is that right?”
OT: “Well of course.”
Me: “Okay, so outside your Bible, what evidence can you provide that shows that Jesus truly existed?”
OT: “Outside my Bible?”
Me: “Yes sir.”
OT: “I know Jesus exists because I feel him and experience him everyday.”
Me: “I can appreciate your feeling and experiences but they are not evidence, they are solely for your purpose only. They can’t be evidence for me.”
OT: “Well we are a Christian nation, how can we be Christian without Jesus?”
Me: “Are you saying that we are a nation filled with Christians or are you saying that our nation was founded on Christian principles?” ( I know this was a trick question but I had to clarify.)
OT: “The second one.”
Me: “What leads you to believe that?”
OT: “Well all you have to do is open your wallet and look at your money. It says so right there on the front ‘In God We Trust’, heck even our pledge has God’s name in it. Does it not?” (I could tell his feathers were starting to get a bit ruffled so instead of informing him that ‘In God We Trust’ wasn’t added until 1954 and God wasn’t added to the pledge until 1956 I decided to let it go.)
Me: “No reason to get upset old timer, we are only talking.”
OT: “Well you keep asking all these dumb questions.”
Me: Yes sir, the reason I asked them is because I want to understand what you believe and why you believe it.”
OT: (Angrily) “I believe in God and his son Jesus Christ.”
Me: “I can see that, however, I am afraid your thoughts about our country being founded on Christian principle is incorrect.”
OT: “Oh yeah, how so?”
Me: “Thomas Jefferson said so himself. He said that the ‘U.S. is in no way founded on Christian beliefs’ in the Treaty of Tripoli.”
OT: “Who said that?”
Me: “Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers.”
OT: “Well (a long pause) I can see that I’m not going to get anywhere with you so have a nice day.”
Me: ” You’re right sir, you have a nice day too.”
I watched the old man walk away shaking his head. He did return one last time to hand me a pamphlet on how to know Jesus. I didn’t want to appear rude so I took it and thanked him.
My reason for sharing this story is two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to share it because the old man truly believed that he was doing what Jesus told him to do which is spread the Gospel. He was a very nice man and I really felt that he wanted to save my soul and I can’t condone him for that. After all, he was doing what he felt was right.
Secondly, I wanted to share this conversation to show others that you can have a conversation with Theists and not majorly offend the person. As with this conversation, toward the end he was becoming somewhat agitated with me. Not because I was questioning him a as person but instead I was questioning his beliefs. Even though the conversation took a lot of page space to type out for you, the conversation didn’t last no more than a few minutes. Within those few minutes the man realized that he possibly bitten off more than he could chew.
I didn’t want to offend him, I simply wanted to ask him a few questions and provide an opposing view while hopefully giving him something to think about.
Remember folks, be nice but question everything!