7/4/16 Lauren early 20’s
Is there anything new under the sun? When Paul visited Athens 2000 years ago he found that the hipster community “who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” (Acts 17) I asked a young couple on the sidewalk, who looked like characters from the “Anime” graphic novels genre, if I could ask an interesting question. “Oh, I LOVE this sort of thing!!” said Lauren, while her boyfriend Bill said he remembered me from a conversation we had at a coffeeshop about three years ago.
When I about her beliefs about eternity, Lauren came up with some wild ideas based on Anime characters that were very comparable to the antics and shenanigans of the various Greek gods and goddesses. Her basic presupposition seemed to be that anything new was worth considering, and anything old, especially if it had to do with biblical Christianity, deserved to be automatically discarded.
I am very upfront about my identity as a member of a Christian church and a follower of Jesus, but despite this she went on to vilify and mock Christians and the Bible, so after about ten minutes of this I stated “Most people who have negative opinions about the Bible haven’t really read much of it themselves but base their opinions of the negative comments of others. Have you read the Bible for yourself very much lately?” Lauren had to admit she hasn’t read it since she was a child, and at that time her exposure to it was from a Grandfather whom she felt forced his beliefs on her.
Since that time Lauren seems to have spent her time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas, so I said “So you know I am a Christian and I enjoy these sorts of conversations, and we don’t really know each other and may never meet again so you don’t have to worry about offending me, so what would be the most important questions about Christianity that you’d like to ask?” This really caught her attention and interest, and she changed her whole tone from mockery to listening with interest. She asked “How can you believe in a God who is behind so much death and killing in the Bible?” “That’s true, from Noah’s flood on through the Old Testament, the Bible does have a lot of violence and killing in it…” I said, “…but think about this – I’ve heard it estimated that every day about 150,000 people die around the world. If God is all powerful and all knowing, surely he could prevent each of those deaths. But doesn’t the One who gives life also have the right to take it away? What makes us think the God of the Old Testament is any different than God today?
Lauren had been judging God by human standards, the creation judging its Creator, rejecting what He has revealed about Himself of old in favor of anything new, any alternative to a God we might be held accountable to. But nothing really is new under the sun, and Lauren began to listen with new interest to an old message.