Thursday, 1 May 2008

Taxidrivers and hell

Had to catch a taxi from the city to work. I talked to the driver about death and judgement, and warned him that every one of us would have to stand before God and give account for our lives before him. I also told him that our good works would not be sufficient to gain us entry into heaven.

Not being a teenager, he just laughed it off.


CraigS said...

Good job mate. I'd like to know more - how did you open the conversation? Perhaps you could try and paraphrase the dialogue from memory?

I find stories like this really encourage me in my own witness - more than anything I can think of.

jpj said...

How did the conversation start?
And what was his response besides laughing it off?

I pray for similar conversations during my commute everyday. Keen to gain some further insight from you.

Peace, Joel

Gordon Cheng said...

Thanks for the comments Craig and Joel. It was a bit of a rambling conversation. I also mentioned that Anglicans believe that we get to heaven by trusting in Jesus whereas lots of others believe you have to do lots of good things before God will accept you.

Actually I believe the conversation didn't start this morning, it started on Tuesday!

What I mean is I regularly meet with a friend to pray on Tuesdays, and I asked him if he might pray for me that I have more opportunities to talk about the gospel. I'm painfully aware that for all my talk about how much it matters that people avoid hell and find themselves right with God, my actual personal conversations fall short in this area.

So I needed to get to a meeting by 10 and God sent his taxi my way, and as taxi drivers often do he asked me what my job was. I told him I was a writer and editor, and mainly did church stuff like Bible studies, books on encouragement, that sort of thing. He was straight off onto the differences between religions and asked me what the differences between Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Methodists was.

So I said that there wasn't that much difference between Anglicans and Methodists, gave him a bit of 16th century English history, and told him that it was still a big issue because the Roman Catholics believed that you needed to do good things to help you get to heaven, whereas Anglicans believed that the only way you could get to heaven was if God forgave you.

I can't remember the exact order of the conversation, but he told me

*how his girlfriend one time had taken him to church and he'd fallen asleep,

*how the media was to blame for a lot of religious differences,

*how he was not bothered about it all because he was pretty good, worked as a volunteer etc.

*how there were some people who were pretty bad, like the drunk guy who was beating up his girlfriend in the back of the cab two years ago, and he told him to stop because he'd hit the alarm to call the police and the security camera was operating, and how he pulled out a stick to show that he'd hit the guy if he didn't stop.

I said on that last thing that this was why it was so important that God should judge people, and that the guy who was beating his girlfriend would certainly get punished when he stood in front of God on judgement day, and that all of us would have to do it.

We also talked about Katoomba High School, 30 year reunions, how blonde people go bald quicker, how yellow people don't quite so much (he was Asian and came from the same province in China that my dad grew up in), how the Blue Mountains is a nice area, how Oxford St is crowded so he was going to go down Elizabeth St and turn left into Albion, how he had been going around the block but hadn't been able to get flagged down by anybody, and possibly a few other things that I forget now.

Anyway, nothing to do with me. Give God the glory—I prayed that I might have an opportunity (actually not me but my friend prayed), God held the bus back to make me a bit later than I thought I was going to be, then he sent a taxi, then the driver asked me what the difference was between Anglicans and Catholics and Methodists. So that's how it happened.

Ian said...

You certainly have more interesting taxi conversations than I have had.

Although I'd approach it from a different angle if I were in a similar situation, and I feel the works distinction you make is a lot more nuanced than many evangelicals believe, you are at least an example to "preach the word always". God bless.

Ian said...

[Oh, and your link has a stray at the front.]

Gordon Cheng said...

Thanks Ian.

[Oh, and your link has a stray at the front.]

Weird. I see what you mean, but I didn't put it there and it wasn't there when I went to edit! Oh well, fixed now.

jpj said...

Great stuff.
I find most people enjoy a chance to 'let out' their thoughts on religion.

Very rarely do people get the opportunity in daily life.

The challenge then comes to present the gospel in the midst of such a discussion and I think you did it boldly

Honoria said...

It's a bit yuck to think one day he won't be laughing about it. Will be praying for this Chinese man and his gf. Hope God grants you more opportunities.