7/19/13 Jonathan about 28
Eddie - another believer from a sister location of our church – and I wanted to get to know each other better before an upcoming mission trip to Mexico, so what better way to do that than to reach out and share the Gospel together here in Chicago? We met at a local park and one person we talked to was a young man named Jonathan, a doctoral student who claimed that he didn’t believe in God or any sort of afterlife. He was open-minded enough to consider the possibility that there might be a higher power to whom he will be accountable after he dies, but he chose not to be concerned about this possibility for three reasons: 1.) He felt that it would be unfair of such a God to judge him for not following Him since he didn’t believe in Him in the first place. 2.) He believed he shouldn’t be accountable to follow His rules since he didn’t know them. He basically thought that his ignorance would save him, but when asked if he thought that ignorance would be a good enough excuse for someone seeking to avoid responsibility for obeying traffic laws, for example, he easily agreed that it would not. I went on to explain how the Bible says we are not ignorant of God’s existence since the very fact of Creation is evidence of a Creator (Romans 1) and no one is ignorant of God’s laws since we all have a conscience, the knowledge of good and evil written on our hearts since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Jonathan tried to show exceptions to the idea that there is a God-given sense of morality but I pointed out that the very fact that we feel we need excuses shows that we are aware of God’s laws and universal morality in the first place. Finally, Jonathan used his “emergency back-up plan” in case the first two reasons didn’t protect him: 3.) Deep down, though he isn’t perfect, he makes sure he is “good enough” for heaven, and he truly believes he is, at least in comparison to other people. This is where it is important to use God’s law, such as the Ten Commandments, in order to show him his true state according to God’s standards rather than other people. Despite all this, Jonathan went on to say “I’m glad that Christianity works for you guys, I really am. But it’s not for me. I’m very happy just the way I am.” I believe he is. But if God’s law does its job, he won’t be for long. That is my prayer.