6/29/12 Craig, Will, Charlie early 20's
In Chicago's UIC University Village I began 3 separate conversations simply by asking people if they had time to answer a few questions. All three - Craig, Will, and Charlie - were in their early 20's, had grown up Catholic, and now felt free to pick and choose their spiritual beliefs. Craig felt his soul is more like energy that will be released when he dies. He is highly suspicious of organized religion and thinks the Bible is just the result of exaggerations that have built up over the years. Will, a 6'10" basketball player, has put any thoughts of spirituality on hold until later in life when he thinks he might settle down and take religion more seriously. Charlie theorized that heaven is like the internet - people will hang out with other like-minded souls - sort of like internet chat rooms - and create their own version of heaven or hell. In sharing our faith, how do we deal with all the different religious opinions out there? Who is to say who is right? First I need to say that, far fetched as many people's views might be, we need to hear them out without judgment. More often than not people haven't thought through their beliefs until they need to explain them to someone else, and when they do they realize they contain many logical inconsistencies. They are often just making it up as they go along, but it becomes easy to share our faith with others once we have given them a chance to express theirs. Second, I believe we need to help people understand that its not up to man to define God, but rather to examine how He has revealed Himself to man. When we try to define or explain God on our own terms we only end up creating a false idol in our imaginations that we are more comfortable with. But trusting that God has revealed himself to man leaves us with the historical world religions, and it is easy to show how Christianity is unique from the others. Even though Craig, Mike, and Charlie had come to different conclusions, I noticed one thing they all had in common. They had each given some thought to matters of faith, and they were each willing to talk about it with a stranger. Will you pray for each of them, and will you do your part to share your faith with this new, unique generation with all their different beliefs?