Recently I have listened to several people say that they deny the Christian faith because it unreasonably emphasizes morality and rules. These same people often tell me that we should love others and worry less about rules. I wonder if these people have really thought through the relationship between morality and love. How do we love and not at the same time avoid doing things that harm the one we are loving. If I love some one I shouldn’t steal from them, lie to them, murder them, curse them, take their wife, or cheat them. So what is the relationship between love and morality? Christianity is not about morality for the sake of morality. It is not about rules for the sake of rules. Christianity is about honoring rules and living morally for the sake of love. Because we love, we understand that we should not murder, lie, steal, lust, etc. Morality is only onerous to the extent love is onerous. They go hand in hand.
It was a year ago that we participated in our first real evangelism outing. A friend of mine invited us to go to the Jehovah Witness Convention in San Diego and simply hold a sign that said www.followtheChrist.com . A few years a go “follow the Christ” was the theme for their conference. My friend bought the URL and built a website designed to challenge JW’s to seek the truth about the WatchTower organization and more importantly the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we held the signs I recall people sticking out their tongues. giving us the thumbs down, and worse. I was a little surprised. I have seen picketers at my church but the thought never crossed my mind to stick out my tongue at them. It turned out that the site got an abnormally high number of hits and I was interviewed by the news media that day. The Gospel was heard.
This event was the beginning of the wildest year of my life. Well, I have had wilder but this was a good kind of wild. This event launched us into the development of our website www.allneedChrist.com, a Youtube channel, Facebook page, Tangle page, iTunes Podcasts and a couple of blogs. We began going out twice a week to talk to people about their beliefs, faith, and thoughts on the afterlife. We used many of Ray Comfort’s, Kirk Cameron’s and Todd Friel’s resources but ultimately it is the simple Gospel message that has fueled our passion. We have talked with hundreds of people on camera and posted these videos for the world to see. Our site has reached more than 70 countries and generated more than 300,000 hits in its first year. We have wrestled with atheist, Jehovah witnesses, Hindus, Buddhists, luke warm Christians and a wide variety of others through comments on Youtube.
This week we returned to Qulacom Stadium where 40,000 JW’s were again having there convention. I was excited. I thought for sure we could walk around the parking lot and find some people to interview for the website. We were not antagonistic. We just wanted to record a JW communicating what JW’s believe. In the process we hoped to leave them with some lingering questions that may lead them to the true Christ. I was quickly disappointed. My son was operating the camera for the first hour. No one would speak to us. One guy started to speak to us but was quickly taken away by an attendant. Others were just mean or scared. Discouraged I went to one of the gates going into the stadium and leaned against a wall and just watched people. They were hugging and greeting one another with terms like “brother”. So loving it seemed. But only with each other. They were very much under the control of the Watch Tower organization. They cannot think for themselves or test the JW faith. If they think I am “lost” why not speak kindly to me? Why not try to save me? Maybe because in their faith there is not much to be save from. There is no hell or eternal consequence for sin. I didn’t say anything to offend them. I didn’t challenge their faith. Not that I wouldn’t if given a chance.
Later, a friend of mine joined me and we went again through the parking lot at lunch asking people if they were willing to participate in a short interview explaining the JW faith. A guy sitting in a van with his doors open said sarcastically something like “why don’t you go find an usher and ask them to take you to administration? I am sure they will talk to you.” Well I thought that was a great idea. That’s what we did. Sure enough after a little conversation and explanation we found ourselves in their press box high in the stadium. We were overlooking the whole event. A man named Kevin, a JW representative handling media requests, did an interview with us. We were totally unprepared but had an interesting discussion. He articulated his JW views in such way that there was a clear distinction between the JW faith and the orthodox Christian faith. We walked away saddened knowing there was no salvation being offered to these 40,000 people. As were getting ready to leave we were stopped by security and questioned.
Well we are off to year 2 now. Please pray for us. We are 2 families with many responsibilities. We have many challenges ahead of us but realize that there are eternal implications to the Gospel. We must share it with others!
Faith is believing something came from nothing?
Faith is believing something existed nowhere?
Faith is believing that the universe is eternal with an infinite past and yet we arrived at today?
Faith is believing that the something that came from nothing and existed nowhere and always created everything by chance? without purpose?
Faith is believing that all the sin that the conscience twinges at will not be judged?
Faith is believing that if I believe it strong enough it will become true?
Faith is trusting your friend with a similar faith?
Faith is “not” looking at design and believing there must be a designer? or creation and believing there was a Creator?
Faith is not looking into an expanding universe and believing there must something beyond it?
Faith is not acknowledging sin and its judgment?
Faith is not acknowledging God?
Faith is believing God created and loved His creation and sent Jesus Christ in His great mercy to redeem it from its guilty state.
What are the big questions in life? How did we get here? Why are we here? Where are we going? People seem to answer these questions with few significant variants. Start with is there a God who created all things? Some say yes and others say no. Just think once you say no to God, the rest of the questions don’t really matter… do they? For those who believe there is a God, there are many variants but only two that matter… the true God or a false god. If we chose a false god then we are like the atheist in many ways. Then there are those who seek and follow the true and living God. To them the rest matters. The why… to glorify God! Where are we are going… to be in His presence forever! Where will everyone else go? Now that’s a question that should trouble our hearts. Are we messengers of the Gospel?
Wes thanks for the challenge to my description of many atheists. Let me first say I don’t claim to be a professional debater, scientist, philosopher, etc. The following are my initial thoughts regarding your critique of my blog.
1. You said that “no scientist anywhere has ever said that it (evolution) was random chance or an accident”. You point to natural selection. First, have you spoken to every scientist everywhere? Picky I know. But you cannot honestly make this statement . Second, I maintain the process is random. Sure natural selection is part of that random process. But what drives natural selection? Climate, environmental conditions, etc. All random occurrences if there is no God or Creator behind them.
2. You say that I falsely claim that evolutionary theory says we come from chimpanzees. Well let’s get picky. Okay, we came from a chimpanzee like creature. But after all wasn’t it evolutionist that got so excited that we share 96% of our DNA with chimps. So I guess I was 96% correct. Please forgive the 4% error. I am still wondering why all our cousins and ancestors died and only the Chimps and ourselves remain after all these millions of years. The Chimps lucked out I guess?
3. You say that Science has stood the test of time. Really? I see the assumptions of Science being revised almost daily as more is learned. On the other hand I see ancient scripture we referred to as the Bible standing the test of time. Sure some have misinterpreted the Bible over the years only to be corrected by Science. It was the person’s interpretation that failed to stand the test of time not the Scripture itself.
4. You said the Bible claims the earth is flat and advocates slavery. Now that would be a misinterpretation. As a matter of fact there are references to a round earth before it was know that the earth was round. Maybe you are referring to passages that refer to the wind or angels coming from the 4 corners? A figure of speech meaning to come from all directions. It certainly doesn’t say the earth is flat. Sure slavery was mentioned as part of our world’s history and even as a consequence of a fallen world or sinful people. That’s not an endorsement. If there is not a God I am not sure why you would think slavery was such a bad thing anyway?
5. You asked for one hard piece of evidence. Other than the one you are standing on ( the earth) and the one you are living in ( your body) I have no idea what to offer you. You have no plausible explanation for the creation of the universe or life yet you act as though faith in God is foolishness. Christians have a rational answer for the Universe and life. Atheist simply do not. They are always waiting on the next scientific discovery for the answer. Think about how little science has produced in answering this question. We cannot even produce an earth worm! Can we? No! We can create jets, computers, artificial hearts, etc but cannot create life in a simple worm. Yet you hope that Science will soon discover how the Universe got here and how life was created.
Wes, I cannot convince you that the Christian God exists. Only God through His Holy Spirit can do this. While I believe it is rational and can be supported by Science, belief in God is deeper than the intellect. It involves a spirit of humility and submission. Submission to a perfect God that loves His creation. He provided Christ as the full payment for every sin, injustice and crime to all those who will accept His mercy. This life is short and our disagreement will be settled soon. I pray God will reveal Himself to you in spirit.
Feel free to poke holes in what I offered in this post.
When I ask an atheist a question I usually get an angry, arrogant, diatribe because I am violating his/her first “assumption”. For example, not a perfect example, If I asked an atheist “what is in this bottle?” And let’s say it was water. The atheist may assume its vodka. He then would tell me it is clear, it is liquid, it is in a bottle, the culture of that time was known to put vodka in bottles, etc. He could then go into great detail using science to prove it was indeed liquid, or build a solid case that the culture of that day bottled their vodka and so on. If at any point I tested the contents of the bottle and said I think it is water, I am ridiculed as stupid and dishonest by the atheist. An honest atheist will have to admit dating methodologies, the theory of evolution, and the Big Bang Theory are built upon “significant” assumptions and that these assumptions have not been validated to this date. This should allow for continued questioning.
If we still have chimpanzees after the evolutionary process brought us to the modern human, why are all the other species between he chimpanzee and the human extinct and without any fossil remains? Even if we find some questionable fossils, where are the living intermediary species? The chimps did not die off. Why would every single intermediary species die off and on top of that not leave a single conclusive fossil to support the evolutionary theory?
Today my friends and I went to Coronado to find the best evidence people have for evolution. No one could point us to a specific proof. We even talked to a scientist who talked about bacteria but offered no proof that one species transformed into another species? What is the true evidence that drives university teaching and television promotion of evolution?
It’s amazing to me that the book The Shack remains on the top seller lists at bookstores and websites such as Christianbooks.com. Where is the outcry against this book? It seems muffled at best. The book claims “There is no punishment for sin. Sin is punishment for itself.” This should cause great concern for any person claiming the Christian faith. What happened on the cross? If the there is no punishment for sin, did Christ die for nothing? Of course not! He died for our sins taking the punishment upon Himself. This is the heart of the Gospel. Those who dare criticize the book are scolding for not understanding the book is “just fiction”. Come on. Read the reader reviews of the book. You will find over and over again, “ I finally discovered God”; “For the first time I understand God”; “I have learned about God what the Church could never teach” and more. This fictional book and its fictional god are being used as a Bible Study tool. What? What Bible? According to the book, the Bible is not very important anyway. Seminaries and Bible Colleges have built course studies on the book. I wish the courses were a critique but nope. According to the book Seminaries are worthless anyway. Oh and it makes a popular youth group study. The kids don’t know any better…right? According to the book we shouldn’t even waste our time in this evil institution known as the church anyway. This book strips away the good news of the Gospel and self proclaimed Christians and Churches rushed to embrace it. Can’t wait for the movie! Oh, sure, the author has big hopes that he can tell us more about this fictional god in a movie. Watch for it. Shame on us!
Lately, when sharing the Gospel, it seems I am coming across a lot of Catholics. The subject of purgatory always comes up. At the heart of the issue is how sufficient was Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for sins. Purgatory seems to me to say that it wasn’t quite enough. That we must still in some strange, ill-defined manner, make up the difference.