I had a very interesting phone call yesterday.
From the time that I was a child until I was a teenager, I attended a fundy Baptist church. When I was in high school, they hired a new "youth pastor". He was popular with the kids but after a few years he was let go. He wasn't conservative enough for the minister and the deacons. That was about the same time that I stopped going to church and moved 400 miles away.
That was back in the 70's. Ever since then he's kept in touch with my parents. I used to see him every 3 or 4 years either at my parent's house or at social gatherings that he and my parents attended.
All these years he assumed that I was a "Fine Christian Man of God". I never bothered to tell him otherwise.
He called yesterday and said that he was going to be traveling through my city in a couple of weeks and he wanted to know if he could spend the weekend at my house.
I politely told him that I didn't think that we really had much in common. I told him that I never was a Christian and as a matter of fact now I was a strong atheist. That caught him off guard and he didn't know what to say. When he finally did say something, he asked, "Have ever really read the Bible?". I told him that the Old Testament was a collection of contradictory myths and fairy tales. The New Testament and the story of Jesus was totally unreliable. And it was probably based on the other "savior myths" that had been around for hundreds of years. The more I read, the more I was convinced that it was totally useless.
He went through the usual questions, "Where did This all come from?". I told him that there are some theories but no one knows for sure and I asked him, "Where did God come from?". He asked, "What turned you against God? Have you thought where you are going to spend eternity? What if you're wrong? Have you sincerely asked Jesus into your heart? Is there a church where you can go?
I asked him if he believed that the Earth was created 6000 years ago. I asked him if he believed in the Garden of Eden and Noah's flood. I asked him if there was any first hand evidence that the man named Jesus in the New Testament ever existed.
I told him that I realized that his entire life has been based on the teachings of the Bible but I've studied the archeological evidence, the historical evidence, the scientific evidence, and the philosophical evidence and I don't see any indication of the validity of the Bible or the existence of God.
I could almost hear the neurons in his brains breaking apart. I don't think that anyone had ever challenged his beliefs before. He didn't know what to say. The conversation turned to talking about when we used to play golf together. Then he asked if I would mind if he prayed for me. I said go ahead and he asked God to "open my heart and let his love fill my soul, blah blah ,blah".
I thanked him for his concern and hung up.