Sharing the Gospel of Jesus in a bar. yeah. a bar (pt6)

by Craig on July 17, 2012

The atheist said God was afraid of iron chariots...so I repied...

“God supposedly creates a universe but is scared of  !@#$% iron chariots.”

I was in a sports bar to watch a baseball game I couldn’t see at home…but somehow a debate about God found me between pitches. This is part six of the conversation.

Part one of sharing the gospel of Jesus in a sports bar is here.

But be warned  ¯\(°_o)/¯ the early conversation is not a place for the timid.

Now, where were we…

Oh…

his statement at first made me think, “Did I miss something?”

Me with a Master’s degree in theology…
me, who says there isn’t a question of doubt about God I can’t answer…

because I’ve asked them all.

Did I miss something?

We get too intimidated by statements like…

there are too many translations…
the gospels were written hundreds of years later…
too many contradictions.

People who choose not to believe in God, or not to yet, use things like this as a shield to protect them from dealing with their choice. We don’t see a shield, we see a brandished sword and run away.

So taking the risk that he knew something I didn’t…
and with, by now, a crowd waiting for my answer…

Sharing the gospel of Jesus, all eyes were waiting for my response...

OK, not THAT big a crowd - but still 13 people is a lot of eyes to stare at you.

I ask him to show his cards, “Chris, you have to let me know where the “Book” says God is scared of a chariot.”

He thought he had already won the point, and struggled to an answer, “It’s some story about not going into the land or something – and God was afraid of iron chariots.”

Now, I had my laptop with me…
and my mind started clicking…

entering the land…
couldn’t be Numbers, that’s before entering….
maybe Joshua…but something about iron chariots…
that sounds like Judges…somewhere in the beginning.

I open the laptop and start reading Judges…
and there it is…Judges 1:19…and we’re off.

I lay my computer on their table, turning it so everyone can see.
I gently nudge it toward Chris and ask, “Is this the verse?”

They all read.

Thirteen people who don’t have a relationship with God…
all huddle around a computer screen…
in a bar…
to read a Bible verse.

That’s a little unusual. No?

The verse:

“The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.”

“See.” Chris says, preening and looking around at his posse, “An Atheist knows your book better.” With this came high fives to the buddies and finger pistols shooting at me, and 26 eyes looking at me for a response.

I wanted to debate, but instead came this…
just calm, deliberate, firm, truth. in. love…

“Pride,” I begin, and not at all loudly, “a very delicate ladder to climb Chris. I know, I’ve climbed it high. It’s a dangerous fall.”

There is more…

Please come back.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

A. July 18, 2012 at 5:04 am

Keep going, Craig. This is good.

And still praying for your recovery.

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Craig July 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

Why the moving forward is so hard just don’t know. But the cost of the “there and nowhere” has piled high and isn’t diminishing, Still, it’s like trudging through doubt, you just do it, confront the challenge, take it to Our Lord, one foot in front of the other. No? A. thank you, it’s a pile of rubble to climb out of, I need to keep moving or I sink. So prayer for that – thanks. God Bless you my friend. Just said a prayer for you too. :)

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nancy July 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

Craig, absolutely enjoying this. thank you so much. our God is amazing, isn’t he? thank you for not going back down the rabbit hole, for moving up and out. God bless you this day.

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Craig July 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

Nancy, trust me, I’m still down the rabbit hole, just moving forward anyway. Like trudging through deep snow. “there and nowhere” call me constantly. It’s a strong gravity. I know a stronger one – step. step. step. This conversation – it happened, in part, because the stronger gravity pulled me there. Thank you Nancy, thank you, God bless!!!

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Martha Orlando July 18, 2012 at 11:43 am

Oh, I love your response to Chris! Perfect!
Yes, you KNOW I will be back . . .
Blessings, Craig!

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Craig July 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

And that answer Martha? I take little credit for it. I’m a debater, I’m a guy. I always want to be right. This is a very Jesus-y answer – not a Craig-ish answer. So was I getting some help – I needed it – this was in what I hope was the middle of “down the rabbit hole” for me. Thank you Martha – you are a blessing.

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Martha Orlando July 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Craig July 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

(◠‿◠)

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Katie July 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm

:) I am enjoying all of this and hanging on every word. Keep writing…..

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Craig July 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm

It’s such a simple little story – nothing really – and one interesting and maybe the ONLY positive result of being down the rabbit hole – or maybe evidence of God being with me WHILE down the rabbit hole. Maybe both. Either way an experience lived while down the rabbit hole and one I think I’ll never forget. Thank you Katie, God bless you my friend. Writing, well, EVERYTHING except for returning down the rabbit hole is hard right now – it still calls hard – psychiatrists and doctors can only help so much (and not so much help at that) – I’m doing the solution of Alice in Wonderland – haven’t gotten to that quote yet – that’ll be the last one of the quotes over on LOVE. Really. thank you my friend!!

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Cora July 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I’m just catching up on this whole story, Craig, and I loved every.single.chapter!!!!! I’m one of those sheltered people whose conversations and “arguements” have mostly been with other Christians and/or family. Only recently have I been faced with the down to earth, boots on the ground, nitty-gritty beliefs of the world and asked the gut-wrenchingly honest questions. And I have had to look at myself and my hands to see if I was carrying a shield or a sword and which I needed to use. I can’t wait to read more! So glad to be back here!

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Craig July 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Cora, I a little foggy on days and weeks to dates and times this month or so – does this mean that you missed my whole “down the rabbit hole” experience. I’m not sure – anyway – you’re always missed when you’re gone – at least when my brain is all here ツ – and that’s been a sketchy proposition for a while. piece by piece I’m getting it back.

But this conversation, it would not have taken place if it were not for the “down the rabbit hole” time. I was feeling God a certain way, feeling love a certain way, and the timing led to this story. And God gets credit for just about every answer to every question. I used to be like these guys – VERY much like these guys – every man is to some degree. Anyway – I always heart when you read me. Thank you for being here, my friend. God bless and keep you as always.

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A. July 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Craig, this series is like watching the blow by blow moves of a spiritual/mental/emotional chess game between you and these people! I know it really wasn’t a game, though. It was more like a battle between truth and lies. I am glad you were there for the side of truth, with God helping you.

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Craig July 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

See, and you wanted me to speed things up. It was like a chess game – with spectators. It was a unique opportunity, my spirit was in an awfully humble state – you need humility to be used I think. I’ll always remember this encounter – and the end – it is a surprise. God bless you A.!!!

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Debbie July 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

You are so good, to figure out what verse Chris was talking about . . .to just not walk away from this! And to not try to squash him. God bless you as He works through you in a bar!

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Craig July 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm

And the me that was there Deb? That me who likes to win. That me wanted to squash him. The God IN me said to leave him a corner to retreat to. As usual, the God IN me is better than the ME in me. Thank you my friend. God bless!!!

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Dawn July 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I LOVE this story, especially if you take it all the way to the woman at the end. Will you?

Hugs, dear friend. I, like Cora, had to get caught up. This summer has been grueling as far as attention to my cyber-friends. Sorry, but I can see you are not at a loss for good comments. Yes!

Dawn

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Craig July 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm

These last 7 weeks have taken their toll here to – in the little blogs. But it’s about people – not “traffic” – Dawns – not numbers. Anyway – you DO always have a knack for being able to jump ahead in the story ツ. The story does have an interesting ending. Thank you my friend, and God bless you as always.

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