This evening closes the second evening I have been at the PCAs General Assembly in South Carolina. This evening, I had the pleasure of walking downtown. Then I noticed a brother who was doing out door preaching. I walked past him and asked one of his friends what church they were with. The man told me he was with an independent baptist church. I asked him “Can I ask you a quick question?” and he replied “Of course.” “Why don’t you baptize your children?” It ended up with me and three other baptists discussing paedobaptism. I was outnumbered three to one and I all I had was the word of God (haha). I started off simply asking him “Are you a child of Abraham?” From there the conversation continued. It was about 20 minutes, cordial and we laughed. Eventually one of the men agreed he had no good reason to deny his children baptism. The other walked away and the last one stood there with no response.
Later we (my Pastor and the other Assistant Pastor) would go to the local pub to watch the hockey game and enjoy some snacks. On the way out a Russian girl approached us for a cigar. Small talk started and she shared her disgust for Protestantism (somehow connected with America), the Puritans, and election. I thought certainly there were hidden cameras or this was a set up. But I am not lying here. The Senior Pastor told her “full disclosure…you’re talking with three Presbyterian ministers”. We had an interesting conversation till her boyfriend and his friend came out.
The boyfriend was a Christian who attended church weekly, the Russian girl was someone who had never been baptized but was raised Russian Orthodox, and the friend that accompanied was Roman Catholic. We all started talking and exchanging pleasantries. Eventually there were three isolated conversations. Mine was with the Roman Catholic and I couldn’t be happier.
I asked him if he though the pope could err. “Of course” he said, “Then you would reject Vatican I which says the pope cannot err”. Then I asked him about the Marian dogmas. He thought they were superstitious. I then said “So you reject Vatican II?” “Yes” he replied. He told me he had been raised Roman Catholic and would never change his mind. But these were doctrines he had problems with. I then asked him what was an infallible source and he replied “the bible”. I told him we had just made a huge leap and that we were now in much agreement.
I began to walk him through Scripture how we were incapable of satisfying God’s perfect demands. I showed him how Jesus had done this and that we received this righteousness of Jesus by faith alone. His eyes were looking at me dumb founded. He couldn’t deny what I was saying because it was straight from Scripture. I shared with him some other Reformed distinctives and called him to look at what I was saying with Scripture. He said he would and I pray he will.
The open air preacher had no conversations. I had 6 and three of them were by smoking cigars and having a beer. I love the chance to share the Gospel of Jesus with people and pray that gentleman will think about the things we talked about.