3/1/16 Jason, Eddie early 20’s
Very early in a sidewalk outreach conversation, a college-aged young man named Jason told me “Well, I believe all religions are about God, so I don’t think one is any better than another.” Of course, ideas about God between the various world religions are not only different but very contradictory, but it was too early in our conversation to disagree with Jason. It was time to listen, to ask good questions, and to find common beliefs in order to win the right to be heard and graciously share the Gospel. “Well, it is true that that most religions believe in a Creator,” I began, “and the Bible does teach that there is another thing people of all religions have in common.” Jason was curious. “Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and they knew they were naked and exposed before Him, we all have been given a conscience that lets us know right from wrong. We know better, but we constantly go against our God-given conscience no matter what religion we are from. Religions just disagree about how we can have a right relationship with God in spite of our sins.”
Jason appreciated this simple affirmation of some commonalities of religions and the description of our common problem – our sin and our broken relationship with God. Today, another gospel conversation, this time with a young man named Eddie, led to a question that Eddie told me he has wondered about for a long time. “What about all the other religions in the world? he asked, and as we talked he described this question as one of the main reasons he finds Christianity hard to believe. I was glad I had begun my Gospel presentation with an explanation of our sinful rebellion in the Garden of Eden and the fact that we all have a God-given conscience. This made it easy to explain later that all people – no matter what religion – are equally sinners in need of forgiveness. In this politically correct culture, people want to know that Christianity isn’t exclusive – they need to see that Jesus offers the forgiveness that all people – no matter what religion – so desperately need.