In parts 1 and 2, a dignified older man engaged his fellow transit riders about faith in God.  To one tart, salient point, a business man could not think of an intellectually astute rebuttal, but neither did he yield the offensive.  “I only believe what I can see.” 

The august senior replied, “Like electricity, love, democracy and radio waves?” 

The grand old man continued, “How long would you have to shake a box of radio parts before they would assemble themselves into a working radio?”  From the back of the car came a snicker of acknowledgement that this point was powerful.[1]

The old man swallowed, steepled his fingers and paused, as though he was about to say something he knew his listeners would not like.  “I do not mean to insult you or deny that you honestly believe you seek God. But the Bible says we are ‘dead in our trespasses and sins,’[2]  and when we are born physically, we are automatically on the devil’s team. 

“That is, we are born spiritually dead, unresponsive, in a state of independence and rebellion against God.  We do not have to learn to speak lies, that comes naturally.  When we are in trouble, we lie. We do not have to be taught to steal. We can do that too.  And with some skill.  By crowning ourselves god, we are at war with the Living, True God. Normally this war is undeclared, of course. We try to be polite about it . . . keep it hidden.  But in reality, our sin nature is opposed to God and His control of us.  Frank Sinatra sang Everyman’s theme song: I Did It My Way.” 

Then the eloquent man stood before them transparently honest:  “I have been a redeemed sinner for 50 years, and yet my human goodness is fragile and tissue-paper thin. And the paper is wet. Beneath a thin veneer of right living, I sense surging through me currents of carnality, selfishness, fear, nervousness, lust, anger, greed, laziness and gluttony.  Such is the reality of Everyman (the difference between Christians and non-Christians is that the former have recognized this reality and turned to the Lord for forgiveness and salvation).   

“Before God redeemed me in February, 1965, I felt I wanted God in my life. But looking back I now know that I wanted Him on my terms.  I would direct things.  I would remain in control (be my own god), while I tipped the Almighty a nickel.

With every eye upon him, the honorable man picked up a piece of newspaper from the floor of the car. With his ink pen, he drew a large circle on the paper and handed it to the 24-year-old man.  “Let’s suppose that this circle represents everything there is to know and experience in all of life and the universe. If you drew a box within this circle to represent what you know and what you have experienced, how big would it be?”

“Very small,” replied the young man.  He immediately understood the point. But the saintly man still explained:  “You have wisely answered because if a person denies the existence of God, he is saying he knows everything and has exper-ienced everything. But since he does not and has not, God could be found outside the realm of what he knows and has experienced. It is therefore not reasonable to claim God does not exist.  

“The Almighty does not share His power or glory. Life is lived on God’s terms.[3]  He has home court advantage, since our heartbeat, respiration, sanity, balance, and eyesight rest in His hands instant-by-instant and heartbeat-by-heartbeat.  

“Please allow me to explain something to you that is vitally important.  A little, four-footed creature makes a bow-wow noise.  Does this creature become a dog because of bark number 10?  Does bark # 50 make it a dog?  How about its 1000th bark?   No.  It is a dog, so it does things consistent with a dog’s nature.    

 “Does our first sin make us sinners?  Our 100th sin?  When we commit sin number 5000, do we cross an invisible line in God’s mind and become sinners?   No.  We are sinners, so we do individual acts of sin consistent with our nature.  That’s what we are both by birth and choice. A smart man said,  ‘I believe in your depravity more than I believe in my own depravity, which confirms my depravity.’[4] Sin is our default setting. Newspapers provide daily confirmation of this reality.

“The Bible says we are dead in trespasses and sins. While physically alive, we are spiritually dead (meaning we are unaware of and unresponsive to God, without the desire or the ability to genuinely respond positively to the Creator).

“To imagine we can take it or leave it is to retain our reservation on the ledge.  More travel east and west.”   

[1]   Evolutionists /atheists / humanists / materialists act like Christians “… only have a religious crutch, while we have science.”  While presenting themselves as follow-the-evidence-wherever-it-goes searchers for the truth, their worldview is religious in nature . . . having (1) a doctrine of the origin of man (we evolved) and the universe (big bang) and (2) a salvation (assert yourself and claim your existential due).  This worldview (3) has prophet evangelists (Nietzsche, Russell, Feuerbach, Lenin, Marx, Dawkins, Hitchens),  (4) a messiah (Charles Darwin),  (4) faith in their presuppositions,  (5) an attitude about departing from the faith (Google Antony Flew is seen as an apostate), and (6) a doctrine about the future (non-existence, nirvana).  Atheism is a religion . . . which is motivated by the desire to remove the True God and become a god (see pages 6 & 7).  This philosophy dominates American colleges, which constitutes state-support of a specific religion.   

[2] Ephesians 2:1.

[3]  If we do not respond, He simply waits, backs off, and leaves us on the ledge.

[4]  Rashed Richards Sunday message at Christ’s Commission Fellowship, March 19, 2012, Manila, Philippines.