9/20/16 Ben 34
Outside a grocery store I asked a passerby named Ben, 34, about his beliefs. He claimed no belief or interest in God or eternity, yet stayed to talk about that very subject for well over half an hour. He'd had some discussions with believing relatives, but still really wasn't even sure about the basic message of the faith he had rejected. When I helped him realize that, he was very willing to at least listen to a basic explanation of the Gospel.
Toward the end, I asked what would be his main issue or problem with Christianity. He thought a while and said "Jesus Christ. I just can't believe in him, that he was God or actually did the miracles they claim." I pointed out that it’s hard to believe Jesus is God's Son if one doesn't believe in God in the first place, but that seemed to be a non-issue for Ben. On second thought, maybe the best route to belief in God IS Jesus. People say they need evidence, so what better evidence is there than the life that Jesus lived and the things that He taught?
We also talked about what it means to "believe" in something. Why is it that if we don't want to believe we need absolute proof, but if we do want to believe we only need some evidence? Our scientific world makes it seem like absolute proof is a reasonable demand, but what if that is far beyond what we really need? And should our focus be on our own great or small amount of faith or the object of our faith? “No matter how much we believe in a chair, it won’t hold us up if it has a broken leg.” I told Ben. “Jesus said all we need is faith no bigger than a mustard seed. We just need to act on whatever faith we already have.” For someone like Ben, that first small action may have been to stay and talk about a subject he claimed he had no interest in.