This morning the Lord sent an unusual Driver and his wife into my path. As I sat at my table an older woman came into McD’s from the Pilot Truck-stop side and she looked as though she had been force-fed a few lemons, her countenance was so sad, forlorn and discouraged. She sat down with the her husband, an independent Driver who was a member of OOIDA, Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association and to my surprise he did not own a vehicle but drove vehicles for anyone who needed a vehicle moved from one place to another. They were sitting in the booth in front of me and he had his back toward me.
But, the story began when my lawyer friend Ken heard the Driver say something to his wife, but Ken, the lawyer, thought he was speaking to him and the conversation eventually turned to me when the Driver asked “Who are you a Chaplain for?” and I answered “To you, the Drivers who come into this Truck-stop.” Well, long story short, we got into a somewhat heated discussion which included what the difference is between Mexico and the USA and all of the rest of such type of Trucker discussions.
When I told him that Mexico is Catholic and the USA is Christian that took him and the lawyer for a loop until I explained that the Roman Catholic Church NEVER preached “Ye must be born again” but instead believes that baptism is what saves plus keeping the ordinances of the Church. The Catholics worship Mary and think the Pope speaks for God, therefore they never had Bible Christianity as the foundation of their culture like the USA, and never continues up ‘til today!
This eventually moved our conversation to me being an Independent Baptist and the Driver said “Yeah, the Baptists are known for their Bible preaching, like the Church of Christ used to be” and that gave me a signal as to what he believed. So, I said “But not now” and he said “What are they known for?” and I immediately said “Baptismal regeneration” adding that nobody is saved by “Getting dipped in the water, regardless, sprinkling, pouring or immersing, that will not save the soul” and of course now we were on fighting ground, which he called “Debating ground” and debate we did, for about (15) minutes.
The thief on the Cross was my first example, and he said “Jesus is God and He can bend the rules” I said “Because Jesus is God if anybody could bend the rules it would not be Him, He shed His Blood for my salvation, not for my baptism.” He then said “Baptism is a good thing” I agreed saying “But it is not good enough to save the soul.” I should have also said Paul came not to baptize but to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! But, the discussion ended on good terms as I gave him our prayer card and asked him to pray for the ministry. It also has a thorough born-again message on the back-side.
Whether or not he was saved is anybody’s guess, but I’m sure he thinks he is and he could well be. He quoted a portion of Acts 8 word for word when I brought up the Ethiopian eunuch’s desire to be baptized AFTER he was saved, and told him that if baptism by sprinkling or pouring was the N.T. method he would have had enough water on board to get that done seeing he was travelling through hundreds of miles of desert on his way to Ethiopia and would have had plenty of water on the chariot!
Ken, the lawyer, who also s not saved, left before the discussion got intense, but he once again heard enough to be saved as did Lowell, the Driver and his unhappy wife. Oh, yeah, when Lowell came back to his table initially, he told her to “Cheer up” which is how our discussion began in the first place! Pray for this unlikely “Brief Encounter” to bear fruit in the lives of Ken, Lowell and his wife!
Chaplain L.E.Wolfe www.btmi.org I-85 Exit 35 SC McPilot Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!