God is so good to me! He lets me be a foreign missionary here in my “native land” of the Bay Area. Yesterday I was at a community center with one of my children and I ended up having a conversation with Shirin, an older woman who is originally from Iran. This was the first real conversation I’ve had with someone who practices the Zoroastrian religion. I was amazed to hear her describe her philosophy of life: it was exactly as I learned from my brief study of this religion. She was telling me how it is all about having “good thoughts, good words and good deeds”. In other words, “It’s all good”!
Resisting the temptation to contextualize or just do the “friendship evangelism” thing, I decided I must go for it and risk offending this grandmother, and respectfully tell her some Truth. So I shared about how we are not good, and do not have good thoughts, and do not do good, but just the opposite. I told her truth from scripture about our sin and breaking God’s Law, and the pride, idolatry, unbelief, self-righteousness, and general wickedness that is really going on in human hearts. She recoiled at hearing this -distress apparent on her face- as though I would bring “bad karma” and spiritual chaos to her happy spiritual equilibrium of goodness. I felt bad about making an elderly lady uncomfortable and consciously asked myself, “Do I really believe what the Word of God says about God’s judgment of sin and Jesus being the only way of salvation? Yes!” Although such evangelism is deemed improper, (even by many Evangelical church leaders) I knew I must love God, Truth and people’s eternal souls more than culture, feelings, and social correctness.
She kept repeating the “I think good, I do good, I am good” mantra and I kept gently responding with Truth from scripture. She was even telling me I was good. I have not spoken to her of the Gospel; she is confident she is a good person, acceptable to her (false Zoroastrian) god. She agreed to meet and talk more tomorrow. I have some Farsi gospel materials left over from last year’s Nouroz. I long to tell her of Jesus Christ, the only God and Savior, and how she can be saved from her sins by trusting Him and the goodness of His Grace towards those who are not good.
“Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18