5/22/15 David and Patrick 20's
Had an interesting coffeehouse conversation that was much like the message of Paul in Athens on Mars Hill in Acts 17. I couldn’t talk much about the cross with two young men in their 20’s, David and Patrick, because a foundation had to first be established as to the reason for the cross. David had rejected his Catholic background and the God of the Bible as being too “angry”, and Patrick has been moving from his atheistic upbringing toward Buddhism. They both needed to understand the biblical foundation for the cross that goes all the way back to the nature of who God is back in the early chapters of Genesis. David had said he still believes in a higher power of some sort so I asked whether he thought that higher power might be more like an unthinking power source or more like a personality that has preferences and makes decisions. He favored the idea of God as a thinking personality, so I asked “what do you think His purpose for creating us and this world would be?” “Well, I think he wants us to enjoy a loving, peaceful, harmonious world, that’s why we exist” David answered. “So, when you look around at all the problems in the world, how do you think God would feel about it? Would God be loving or good if he didn’t care about it?” David could see that a good God would indeed be angry at the fact that people and the world are living in rebellion against His perfect plan for creation. We went on to talk about the fact that we do know better – we all have a conscience or “knowledge of good and evil” as it says in Genesis, and the fact that we always feel we have to make excuses for our bad behavior shows that we are indeed beholden to our conscience, as something that exists independent of us. We are not living in a right relationship to God, but are in rebellion against Him and His authority in our lives. More and more, the message of the cross that made sense to the Judeo-Christian world view of past generations is foolishness to today’s generation without the foundation of who God is and who we are in relation to Him. We need the Gospels, and we need Genesis too.