ED and MARLENE

Smokers GenesEd and Marlene, whew what a mess! They were severe alcoholics, unhealthy, angry and depressed. They fought constantly, smoked 3-4 packs a day, and cursed like sailors.

Ed bluntly declared, “I hate God, government and fundamentalists, especially fundamentalist preachers.” Oddly enough, despite my fundamentalism, we ended up fast friends.

For three years, Ed and I met regularly to talk life and Jesus. He threw up every question and objection imaginable, from “Why is God out to bash everyone?” to “What does the Bible say about government?” to “Why should I trust the Bible?”

As I listened and loved Ed through all of his queries and arguments (and through all his  cigarettes, arrogance, foul language and crises!), he learned that some fundamentalist preachers were not so bad after all. And he learned the truth about Christ.

Ed taught me three superb lessons about objections and questions.

  1. They’re normal.
  2. They’re answerable.                                                                                                            (Sometimes you have to be willing to say, “I don’t know but I’ll find out and get back to you.” Sometimes you just have to say, “I don’t know.”)
  3. They’re opportunities for further discussions and evangelistic Bible studies.

The morning Ed and Marlene moved away, as they went out the door, Ed turned and told me that the night before he had trusted Christ while watching Billy Graham. (As happy as I was that Ed got saved, later I really wondered why Billy Graham got to reap instead of me. You ever felt that way or is it just me?) Anyway, I can’t wait to see Ed and Marlene again; they are both with Jesus now, healthy, whole and with no objections.

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About Rick Oglesby

Rick has worked as a church planter, pastor, missionary, Bible College President and teacher. He currently pastors in Wellington, Alabama.

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