Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An 'F' on my First Apologetics Test

FOREWORD: Yes, I am a Christian. I do believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I believe that He was crucified, buried, and on the seventh day he rose again. No, I’m not going to try to preach or attempt to make anyone a Christian or believe what I do and nor do I have any devious plan to. But I would really appreciate it if you were open-minded to what I have to say. It is not my intent to offend anyone in any way, shape, or form so if you are going to find this blog post offensive I’d highly suggest you not read it. This is strictly my thoughts and opinions on an event that took place during lunch on a cloudy Wednesday, October 16th.

Without further a-do, here’s the post…

It is pointless to debate with someone who is not a Christian. You can preach all day at him until you are blue in the face but he will not understand—even if you make a perfect point. I’d compare debating a non-believer to trying to make a blind man, who’d never seen the light of day before in his life, understand the color blue. You could say that the color blue is the color of the sky or the ocean. While the explanation makes perfect sense to someone who can see, the blind man still has no perception of the color blue. The unbeliever is like the blind man—blinded by sin.

This happened earlier today as three of my friends and I engaged in a heavy debate with Ivey’s friend from Japanese class—a hardcore atheist with an interest in theology who had studied various religious texts such as the Koran and the Bible—who we had met just minutes before. (Not exactly a great start to a budding friendship.) Each question went around and around in a figure eight—the atheist standing her ground, us standing ours.

One of the things Ivey’s friend accused us of was not being ‘strict Christians’ purely because we weren’t following the Old Testament (sacrificing animals and not wearing jewelry or not getting tattoos) to the ‘t’. She brought up the verse in Matthew 5:18: 'For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.'

We countered that not only was that the custom for the time period, but Jesus dying on the cross paid for our sins so that we don’t have to do all those rituals anymore.

'Excuse me, I couldn’t help but over hear your conversation,' said a nice young man sitting at the table next to ours. 'I believe that the verse in Matthew 5:18 is referring to the Beatitudes.'

'Oh! That’s right! But…' the atheist continued to argue her point with a smirk. If it made her that happy to think that she was right, then by all means…

'May I ask you what you think of three things?' the man injected once more.


'I used to be a drug addict. I used to smoke and did a bunch of pot. It got to the point that I wanted to quit. But every time I tried I would give up and tell myself I couldn’t do it and I was worthless. It was like a continuous climax ending in ‘crap’ over and over.

'And one day, while I was fixing my car—a few days before I had hit a deer—I sliced my finger on a piece of plastic. When I say I cut it, I mean, a stream of blood was coming from my finger. And so I rushed inside, and as I was cleaning myself up my phone started ringing. Of course, I was in no state to answer the phone, but it was this woman whose child I used to read to. I hadn’t talked to her in years.

'So I answer this phone call and the woman goes on to say she’d been praying for me lately. She said God showed her a vision of me climbing up a mountain. And just before I would get to the top, I would find myself sliding back down on the rocks.

'It was at that moment that I just started bawling my eyes out.' He continued. 'So the second thing that I wanted to say was that I was on a mission trip to Africa and Papua New Guinea. I had sold my car to go on this trip. And after we had been in Africa, I was trying to earn some money to pay for the Papua New Guinea part of the trip. It came down to the last twenty-four hours before the money was due and my friend ended up double paying for the trip because he ended up getting a scholarship for the trip. Well, part of his money went to my trip. However, I was still short of about five hundred dollars up until three hours before the money was due when an anonymous donor donated the money—you know the whole you give and receive thing.

'I just wanted to hear what you had to say about those scenarios. Do you think that that was God’s work?' He finished.

'Well, I think that it was nothing more than coincidence,' she replied.

The whole conversation reminded me of my apologetics Bible class my senior year of high school (I went to private Christian school from pre-K through 12th grade.) The theme verse of the class was 1 Peter 3:14, 'But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.' As Christians we are called to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is our hearts. We need to be readily available to those who are earnestly seeking the Lord and who are looking for salvation.

The atheist presented herself as a skeptic - someone who refused to believe and could not be convinced of the truth. God doesn't call us to persuade the hearts and minds of those that are choosing not to believe. If it's in God's plan for her to be saved, then she will be saved. He will open her mind, and it's not up to us to try to save her. She is nothing more than a 'dead' corpse, and it's going to take a miracle to revive her.

I’m really sorry for the terribly long post, but I just had to get my thoughts out on paper. And instead of just writing them in a journal (diary, whatever you want to call it), I thought this needed to be shared. That being said, I am open to hear what your thoughts! Please feel free to leave any and all opinions in the comment section down below.


Here is some suggested reading if you would like to look more into Christian theology:
-The Bible (NIV)
-New Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
-Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
-The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
-The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

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