Here's one for the ain't-ministry-odd bin.
A guy comes in (without an appointment, of course) and wants to talk to me about baptism. I say "Great, have a seat." Then he explains that he grew up Muslim (in Africa) but not particularly religious. Since coming to Canada, he sees that there is truth in all religions and has found great spiritual unity with the divine power and would like to be baptized. As we explored further, he revealed that he had no interest in going to church, and had never, in fact, been in a church before that moment. Nor had he read even a small part of the Bible, but he wanted to be baptized. Why not come to church? Because Christians aren't very good people, according to what he's heard on TV. Shouldn't he come and judge for himself? No, thanks, he just wanted to be baptized and get out of here.
He is then quite mystified that I won't just baptize him right then and there. Why does it have to be on a Sunday? He doesn't want to sign up for anything--he just wants to be baptized. In fact, he tells me, he's already been baptized by the Divine Spirit. Why does he need me? Because, he says, it's important to fulfill outward appearances. Umm, huh.
So I'm at a loss with what to do with this guy. Interestingly, he seems to think he knows what Christianity is and what baptism is, and is not convinced otherwise be me. I pull out the BAS and try to walk him through the sacrament so he can understand it better, but he's not really listening to me except to find loopholes. His desire for this sacrament is totally based on a selfish desire for some metaphysical benefit that he could not describe but expects to receive.
So I'm polite and give him water to drink and suppress my frustration that this guy could be so ignorant and presumptuous. I tried to tell him a parable about how foolish it would be for me to tell him things about his home country based upon rumors I had heard--that I must listen to people like himself to know the place. He counters that rumors I have heard about his country are probably correct, and that I know all I need to know about his country. I realize, by this, that he is just playing games with me and has no interest in learning anything new--he just wants this blessing.
Stalemate. I tell him that I'm not going to baptize him today--but I exhort him to come on a Sunday and meet people and see how the church feels. He goes away utterly unchanged in his opinions. Hard not to feel like I failed to give a good account of "the hope that is in me." Sigh. They don't prepare you for this crap in seminary.