3/23/13 Luke, about 25
A young man named Luke bombarded me with a series of questions and assertions today in response to my sidewalk question about his beliefs in regards to life after death. His beliefs seemed to be based on the latest outrageous conspiracy theories or sensationalist documentaries on cable TV. He also claimed “I believe in objectivity and the scientific method; if it can’t be proven scientifically, it probably didn’t happen”. In his mind, there is more “evidence” for an ancient visitation to the earth by aliens than there is for the “fairy tales” found in the Bible. Trying to look at our debate objectively, I would admit that both of us are mere novices repeating the claims of our favorite trusted sources. What makes me think my sources are more reliable than Luke’s? First, I trust the Bible as God’s word and as a standard by which to measure what is true. Second, I am much more trusting of Christian writers, scientists and historians than secular ones. I know what it means to fear God and to know that I will be held accountable for every word I say and write. In contrast, I don’t believe that people who attempt to defy God and deny the truth of scripture can be trusted to accurately report the facts or interpret evidence. They have too many mixed motives, like the lure of profit gained in sensationalizing a documentary, the prestige earned from fellow scholars in making a new discovery that supports “enlightened” thought, or, of course, the comfort of repeating any sort of supposed evidence that denies the existence of a higher authority they might be accountable to. My conversation with Luke touched on a wide variety of topics because he would make a fantastic assertion against Christian beliefs and begin to listen to my rebuttal but then change the subject before I could finish it. However, I began to notice there were certain times when he could think of nothing to say and wasn’t quite sure how to respond. It was when I referred to God’s law, such as the Ten Commandments but also to the moral compass that God has placed in everyone’s heart, and to his accountability to that law. I was appealing to his conscience rather than just to his intellect. As we talked he was listening more and more to his heart, and I believe the law was doing the task it was designed to do as described in Romans 3:19 – “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” Christian apologetics and logical debates may have their place, but we can’t afford to neglect the biblical use of the law to help people begin to see their need for the Savior.