Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Satisfying the Mind

A lot of people in my life have seen a change in me since coming to Christ. When asked about this change, I direct all glory to God and explain that He opened my eyes to what I truly needed in my life: Him. But what makes all of this quite difficult is that not all of my non-Christian friends are all that supportive and understanding about it.

I believe that it is truly important to share your faith with others and to witness to people. After experiencing all that has happened in my life, I want everyone to realize that we are nothing without God. Without God, our life has no meaning or purpose. Without God, we are nothing. Any opportunity I get, I try to reach out to my friends and share with them all God has done for me... but it's hard. Sometimes the people I talk to are definitely interested in what I am saying but just aren't ready. The most I can do here is to get them thinking about God and praying that they will make the decision to accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour on their own. Other times I talk to people who are in complete denial of the existence of God. Here is where things get extremely difficult to handle.

As a new Christian, I may not be as well informed of certain topics of Christianity as I could be, despite all of the research I have done. So when confronted with a debate of this type, it's really easy to get swept up in the emotions of the conversation and lose sight of what is truly important through my countless attempts to provide answers to all these skeptical questions. In fact, after a few intense debates with very opinionated and well researched atheists, I began to call my own faith into question. Here is where my awesome Christian friends really helped me.

Before dealing with the questions directly, one of my friends had this to say:

Skeptics ask those questions ignorantly as if they are the first to raise them in the history of man. The real joke is, all those questions have been dealt with, appropriately addressed, and debunked hundreds of years ago by some of the most brilliant minds ever. The words of the Bible have and continue to satisfy the thinker and the believer sufficiently, including myself.

Hearing this alone was very comforting to me; knowing that the answers were indeed out there and available to me. As my friend pointed out, the book of Romans chapter 1 says that the problem is not the absence of evidence regarding God, but the supression of it. The fact that there is an intelligent design to our universe and ourselves SCREAMS that there is a intelligent designer! The moral imperatives within us cannot be explained unless you attribute them to a transcendent morality!

Asking questions and wanting to know more is not something you should be ashamed of. Of course we need to have faith, but God wants us to think and ask Him for help. We don't have to do this alone! A common misconception people have of Christians is that we use only our hearts and ignore matters of the mind. This is not true. As my friend explains, Christianity has and will continue to satisfy the minds of truth seeking intellectuals. Many of the most brilliant minds in human history were devoted followers of Christ: Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, C.S Lewis. You can satisfy your mind as well as your heart!

One of the issues I was really struggling with were all of the supposed "contradictions" in the Bible. These were one of the strongest points of debate for all the atheists I've spoken to and it really made me call some things into question. But what I didn't realize was that the people making these accusations were not taking into consideration the context of the verses in question. Not to mention in some cases they were actually comparing verses in different translations to further separate what is being written about and the context in which it was written. This is all done in their attempt to distort the message and appeal to their own arguments and biases.

Need more evidence? See for yourself.

This website outlines every single "contradiction" that has ever been pointed out in the Bible and shows that they are completely 100 percent not true. So the answers are out there is you are seeking them. But in asking all of these questions, do not lose sight of all that God has done for you.
Hold onto your faith because that is what drives everything.
I have been listening to lectures by an apologist named Ravi Zacharias. He has given various lectures entitled "Let my People Think" which have given my faith great confidence once again. In one of his lectures, he address the reasons he is not an atheist. One thing he said at the end really caught my attention:

"You see, he couldn't resist the fact that the difference between a machine and a human being is God. You are not a machine, you are a creature created in the image of God. And when you deny God, there's no moral law, there's no meaning, there's no hope, and if you are wrong, there is no recovery."
Next time you enter into a debate with someone over God, don't go looking to all the "evidence" right away. That's not going to save someone. Think about it. God gives our life meaning and purpose. What are we without God? We are nothing! What do those without God believe happens after death? Nothing! Through Jesus Christ, who died for our salvation, we can achieve eternal life with God. And what of those who spend their lives denying Him? What happens once they realize that He truly does exist? They lived their lives in denial of their very creator!

I'll close this post with something that another friend said that really put things into perspective for me:

Whenever possible, try to turn the conversation back on all the wonderful things you know and experience about God. The rest are details. Believing in Noah's ark won't save anyone. Calculating the age of the universe isn't going to spare a single soul from hell. And none of these things are a convincing reason for anyone to finally get saved. They are things God opens your eyes to once you put your trust in Him. Faith first and the evidence comes later.
I once heard someone say that "you can win the argument, but you lose the soul". It's so true. You can't argue anyone into salvation. Knowing all the facts and evidence to support what you say isn't nearly as valuable as being able to personally attest to what Jesus did in your life and what He has to offer us. Let's be humble- let's acknowledge that we don't know everything. Let's show people who Jesus is through living our life for Christ, not through debate.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

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