Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Minibus Gospel Part 1 (Apologies to Steve Allen)


So those of you that know the Allens might have heard about this already. And for those of you that I've talked to about it - sorry this took so long to get down. But here it goes.

Last year our friend and AZ co-worker Steve Allen (now on semi-permanent home assignment for church planting) shared this story with me and his experience in using it to start conversations with people about the gospel here in Lusaka. I think he actually got the example from someone else, and maybe it's been around a long time but it's still very effective. I am often sitting around in offices, hardwares, homes, etc with little to do but wait for the person I need to see to show up. I also spend a lot of time in the truck driving to and from town with strangers or people I barely know. I tend to ask as many questions in nyanja as I can and when I run out of phrases and language, I'll lapse into silence, read a book, or walk around the block to keep from pulling out my hair in boredom or frustration at having to wait forever for the most basic thing. But I've started to use this story to start long, interesting conversations about how people see sin, grace and the gospel. It goes like this.
A certain man was riding to town on a minibus. He road the bus everyday and knew the fare was 2 pin (about 45 cents). He's a good man, a godly man. He believes fully in his own salvation through the work that Jesus did on the cross. He's a good father and husband who is a deacon in his church and even sings in the choir. But today, when the minibus started off towards town the conductor forgot to ask him for his money. It was a busy route and there were so many people getting off and on that he lost track and forgot about this man. The man thought little of it but when he reached town he remembered that he had not paid. He decided that since the conductor had failed to ask for his fare, then he would just not pay it. As he exited the bus, he looked back over his shoulder to see if the conductor would remember and give chase. And while he was looking back, another minibus crashed into him and he was instantly killed. Where does this man spend his eternity? I think the answer you give deeply reveals what you believe about grace and about how we are saved.

Now, if you knew the Zambians I knew, the simple joy that most of them have in their faith, the way they love Jesus, then you would be even more surprised to find out that everyone says, “Hell! That man must spend his eternity in hell of course.” Whoa. Wait a minute, that guy’s going to hell? Why? The answers vary but touch on the same things - this man sinned and sin must be punished and/or this man sinned and did not repent before he died. When Steve told me that everyone said, “hell,” I didn’t believe him. But sure enough, that was the answer I always got. What do you think?

1 comment:

Jesse Bibee said...

Hi Huckaby family!

That is an interesting and unfortunate standard response - and also an exhausting and terrifying place to be. It's like Pete's analogy of carrying a glass vase with you everywhere you go and being careful never to drop it. Praise God that past, present, and future sins were atoned for on the cross.

Thank you for sharing and great to see pics of the house, it looks great, excited to see more. Hope everyone has returned to full health!

The Bibees