Had quite the interesting experience with a guy at the pawn shop. I bought a guitar pedal (flanger!), and he asked me if I knew about Joe Bonamassa. I said "No", so he took me out to his car and played me a few tunes. Amazing! We were having a good time, then he mentioned that he's a Christian. Ok. Then he talked about Leonard Cohen. And that's where it got weird.
He claimed Cohen is of the line of the Kohathites and had converted to Christianity a while ago (he didn't; he's still Jewish, and practices Zen as well), and that his lyrics can only be understood by someone who understands Jewish religious thought and symbology (or something like that). He offered a few truly interesting examples which I could never repeat because my brain refused to store them in memory.
Then he got off on the end times - never a good thing to do around me. Always fascinating to listen their silliness, but this one got weird, and instead of being entertained i found myself getting increasingly disturbed because even for end-timer, he was way off the chart.
He was predicting the end in 2017 (the second jubilee year after Israel's formation, according to him, and this is where I knew the conversation was going to go farther south than usual). He quoted something out of context from Daniel and Isaiah to back it up.
Then he went after the Masons.
Then the Pope.
Then the collusion between the Masons and the Pope, except for the group of Black Priest Masons that assassinated John Paul I because he was going to expose the whole Catholic banking conspiracy.
Then some stuff about how if he were a Jew, he'd never let a woman cut his son's hair because, seriously, why would ANYONE let a woman cut the hair of a Jewish male?
Then it went back to the Masons and how they all have to take a vow to serve Lucifer between degrees 7 and 8, and that they are a satanic cult that is fully confirmed on entry into level 33. I tried to correct him here, but he told me to do an Internet search on black priests P2. I said not everything on the Internet is true or based in reality, to which he said something like "No, this isn't an Internet thing. It's true!"
Then some numerology garbage (redundant, I know) - especially loved this winner of a statement: "What's nine times seven? It's 63 - Israel was founded 63 years ago! [even though he earlier said it was founded 93 years ago...] Add 7 to 63 and what do you get? 70!! Add 70 to 1947 and you get 2017. See?!"
Then I thanked him for turning me onto some great music, and we ended the conversation.
Fascinating. Really nice guy, but - hoo.
Oh, and he's non-denominational. He was adamant that I understood that.
I think God keeps sending me these moments for me to connect with others, and I keep blowing it. I always wonder, when I get into these odd conspiracy/religious conversations, if it's worth my time to mention that I am a pastor (this guy never asked; I always say I am if they ask about my religious expression) and invite them to church, or if it's going to lead into something ugly when they realize that I am so completely far from what they believe. I've had some good experiences, but a few very uncomfortable ones. This one got very uncomfortable.