Yesterday on Face Book I saw a conversation that saddened and frustrated me at the same time. It saddened me because people are so missing the point of Christianity and frustrated me because I could not respond. Perhaps it is just as well, but I must give a response and so I will do it on my blog.
Let me set up the conversation: A person, who I’ll call “Jack”, wrote, “Proof of heaven claims continue to fall apart”. After Jack’s post, a maelstrom of comments began and one person pressed Jack to give his beliefs. Jack didn’t seem to want to write these beliefs out, however the other person pressed so hard that eventually he confessed that he used to be an Evangelical Christian. Jack said he realized one day that he was “parroting” what others said.
If I had the privilege to talk to Jack I would want him to know that I, too, came to a point in my Christianity where I had to ask myself honestly whether I was a Christian because I believed in Jesus, or if I was just going to church to please others. I would tell Jack that I came to the opposite conclusion in my question to myself than he did to himself.
I believe in Christianity, in Jesus Christ, because I want to believe, not because I’m going to church to please others. It is my absolute belief that this is the truth and everything else is a lie.
I would want to tell Jack that some of the reasons he gave for not being a Christian anymore are his choice and that God has given him that choice. God still loves Jack, and extends blessings to him, even though Jack has turned his back on the faith of his parents. And because God has given Jack that choice, I must also respect his choice. I don’t have to agree with it, but I do have to respect it.
I would ask Jack to consider something, however: if we who are Christians are wrong, and believe in a God that does not exist; if we who are Christians are lying to ourselves when we say we hear the voice of God are wrong and we die as all life does, then we’ll never know because this life is all there is and once a person dies and is gone, they’re gone.
If Christianity is true, and there is a heaven and a hell, then those who have rejected Jesus are bound to an eternal destiny so terrible we cannot comprehend it. And worse, I know that Jack is a leader in his company. How many people is he leading to that eternal destiny with him, including his wife and children? It’s too terrible to comprehend.
But heaven and hell are really not good enough reasons to allow God, through Jesus, to save a person. Eternity IS a very long time (forever) but the best reason I know to believe in Jesus is that we can have a here and now relationship with Almighty God. He is the One that knows all, and when we’re struggling, He has promised to take care of us.
He’s with me daily and I know He will take care of me no matter what.
I’m not going to try and convince Jack by quoting Scripture. What’s the point? He doesn’t believe in it.
I’m not going to try to talk Jack into becoming a Christian. What’s the point? If a person can be talked into it, they can be talked out of it.
I’m not going to try and use science to prove God’s existence. I’m not educated in science enough to answer any arguments Jack has.
All I can do is to tell Jack what I know from my own personal experience, and my own personal experience is that I’ve experienced God in such a way that I know He’s with me and will be with me as long as I am on this earth and then I will be with Him for eternity.
I’m not the only one, either. Countless martyrs believed in God enough to die for their beliefs rather than change them. Yes, other religions have martyrs too. I’m not using Christian martyrs as a reason to believe. I’m just saying there are people willing to die for their beliefs, and I would be willing to be one of those if called to do so.
Maybe we’re all wrong. Maybe we’re all just living an illusion. Okay then I will quote C.S. Lewis’ character, Puddleglum (from the children’s book, The Silver Chair, The Chronicles of Narnia) “Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself.… I’m on Aslan’s side, even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it…”
I’m going to believe in God the Father; His saving Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit even if this is all there is in life and Christianity is just a lie. It seems better to live a life looking forward to heaven and enjoying a relationship with a God that doesn’t really exist than to try to live without Him.