"The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good." Psalm 14:1 (ESV)
Recently, I saw a video and read an article on atheist, biologist, writer and thinker Richard Dawkins. If you want to see the interview, go to Google and type in, “Dawkins: Evolution is 'not a controversial issue”. He has developed an international reputation as being one of the leading advocates for evolution. He is very persuasive and challenges those of us who believe in creationism or "intelligent design" as being deluded. He says that there is no higher being or God. His book, The God Delusion, is a best seller and heralded by many all over the world as a “liberator” of minds. They claim that it helps “educate” people away from the “dangers of God and religion”. How do we as Christians respond to such claims that creep into our public schools systems, universities, and into the minds of friends and family we engage with on a day-to-day basis?
As always, we need to turn to scripture for guidance. Peter told the church to do this when we are confronted and need to defend our faith. He said, “In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV1984). As you can see, opposition to God and Christianity is nothing new. Dawkins opposition is just a rehash of what others have said in the past, and others will say in the future. However, we as Christians must be prepared to defend our faith. Where do we go if we need help? A simple Google search of “Christian Apologetics” will pull up a plethora of resources to help you to understand why and what we believe about our faith. Websites that I turn to frequently are www.carm.org. and www.equip.org. In addition, there are many great books available, some of them are in the Sunrise Church Bookstore, and of course online. A great print resource that I’ve turned to is When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences by Norman Geisler. There are so many more resources, you just need to dig around, or ask a pastor for guidance.
Ultimately, we must be prepared to give an answer to those we have conversations with, but when we engage people in these conversations about our faith, we must do this with “gentleness and respect.” Jesus calls us to a higher standard, even if those who we dialogue with lack respect and are not gentle with us. Jesus clearly stated in the gospels that we must “love our enemies” and “bless those who curse you”. Remember that these people are not our enemy, but that the devil, the “god of this age”, has blinded them and put a veil of confusion over their hearts and minds.
My challenge to all of us is today is to pray and ask God to give us the opportunity to be a verbal witness for our faith today. That when we get this opportunity, that we would take it and have meaningful, deep conversations with people that will ultimately plant the seed of the gospel in their hearts. In addition, if we do get into challenging conversations, that we would be prepared to give an answer, but when we do this, we do it with God’s love so that ultimately we would see that person follow Jesus and become a new creation.
Remember, the objective is not to belittle and beat a person into an argument, but to help bring that person into a relationship with Jesus Christ as their God and Savior.
Posted on Wed, September 12, 2012
by Kevin Ibanez