2/7/14 Roger about 40
After work I stopped by a Starbuck’s at a Target, where I reached out to a man there named Roger. He was skeptical of Christianity, accusing it of being just another man-made religion that has copied other religions that came before. He had grown up Catholic but admitted his views of the Bible are based on the opinions of skeptics rather than reading it for himself. He has passively absorbed all the latest titillating claims of doubt and conspiracy in regards to the Bible and Christianity in general, so that now he has no idea where to turn to for truth. I’m no expert on apologetics, but it helps to have a few common-sense answers to the questions of people like Roger, so we talked a while before moving on to the more essential questions of faith. “It would make sense” I told him, “that most religions share moral and ethical ideas because the Bible says in the very beginning, after our fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, that as descendants of Adam we all have the knowledge of evil, we all have a conscience or a general sense of right and wrong.” If Christianity borrowed from another religion’s teachings, it would be the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament. In fact, Jesus Himself claims that He came as a fulfillment to the Jewish law and prophets. Christianity fulfills the prophesies and principals of the Old Testament, which predates most of the religions Christianity is accused of borrowing from. And besides, similarities between Christianity and other religions are bound to occur; this doesn’t discredit the historical claims of Christ and the early Christians in any way. Again, I’m no expert, and I didn’t go into much detail, but it helped to show Roger I had given the subject some thought. I hadn’t proven anything, other than showing I was willing to listen and give a reasonable answer. We were then able to move on to talking about the essentials of the Gospel. Many Christians hesitate to share their faith because they don’t have all the answers, or because they can’t “prove” anything. But who can? Most debates are just people citing their favorite “experts” against each other. The only original research we have is our own faith experience. It is freeing to me to know I don’t have to and can’t prove anything. Yes, I should do my homework, and every witnessing conversation compels me to want to find more reasonable evidence for what I believe, but in the end the Holy Spirit is the only One who can bring the repentance and faith needed for salvation.