Trucker’s Bible Study
Oak Grove, Mo., Part 9
The Trucker’s Bible Study is conducted weekly at the Texaco truck stop on I-70, Oak Grove, Missouri by Arlo Gieselman, often assisted by Lenny Cacchio.
January 10, 1999: Steve Miller and I met today with a man from Laredo, and we were later joined by two young men from South Carolina. Most of our time was spent talking one on one, and helping the Texan deal with a problem related to a friend.
He has been studying the scriptures for only about 8 months, but has been convicted by what he has read. The problem is with a lady friend from Mexico who is caught in a life of less than good repute. Once again I was reminded that all of the doctrinal niceties that we love to argue about mean little to people who are struggling with sins that they would like to escape, and the big questions of life that every thinking person has.
He mentioned that his wife died three years ago and for a long time he blamed God for her death. He later came to see that time and chance happen to everyone, and often God uses such trials in order to turn us toward Him. His problem now is his lady friend whom he wants to turn from her ways, but she feels that God can't forgive her because she has led such a wicked life. As a Catholic, she believes that she must do penance and go through a priest for forgiveness. On the other hand, she notices the profound change in this trucker's life.
We covered a number of scriptures showing that God is able to forgive sins, even such sins as this. We covered Jesus compassion, and yet his stern warning to the woman in John 8: "Neither do I condemn you, but go and sin no more." Also, that Rahab the harlot was in the geneology of Jesus and was a woman of faith after she was able to turn her life around.
We also talked about Luke 7, when the woman who was a harlot washed Jesus feet and loved much because she was forgiven much. The trucker took notes of these scriptures to share with his friend.
Steve mentioned an illustration that I thought was brilliant. Next time you get a bill in the mail, tear it in two and give it to her. Have her carry it wherever she goes as a reminder that God can forgive her debts. Tell her that forgiveness in the biblical sense means to cancel that debt. That is precisely what God does when He forgives—he cancels the debt.
One of the young men who came later suggested that he do what he can to remove her from the environment. It would make her lifestyle less burdensome to change. Finally, I mentioned to him that he should remember who he is and not do anything that Jesus would not do. I believe he understood what I was getting at.
They took some tapes and literature with them.
Again, I am reminded that we need to address people's needs from the perspective of the scriptures rather than using a confrontational theology. Plant the seeds and water it with the word of God.
As we were breaking up I mentioned how my study of the scriptures began when I saw how the beliefs I had been taught as a child did not agree with the Bible. I cited a few examples. One of the men thanked us for giving up our own Sunday church service in order to meet with them, whereupon Steve told him we keep the seventh day—one of those things where the scriptures are different from commonly taught beliefs.
Planting seeds, —Lenny Cacchio
705 NE Bryant Dr, Lees Summit, MO 64086 firstname.lastname@example.org
Some "Church of God" members may have difficulty working with "these kinds of people". This shows how far away we are from Christ’s ministry—he was called a "friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Matt 11:19) —NSE