I asked God to make it clear to me when to keep my mouth shut and when to open it back up and what to say when I do open it.
Disclaimer: I will inevitably fail at this Discernment Test. There will be many (hopefully not too many!) times, I’m sure, that I take matters into my own hands without listening for the prompting of the Holy Spirit. But this time it’s pretty clear. I have something to say.
If this is your first time to the blog, I’ll quickly catch you up. Over the past couple weeks we’ve been discussing matters of faith off and on. I don’t have statistics, but I’m guessing that a majority of people reading this blog are followers of Christ. They (and I) believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Our Savior, Redeemer and friend.
But not all you share that faith–and I hope you know you’re welcome here. Take Andrea for example. Andrea is a nice, smart guy (an Italian friend of mine and Gabe’s) who enjoys a good discussion and is curious to know why we Christians won’t budge from this belief system of ours–a faith that seems to defy logic much of the time.
I’ve made a decision not to keep going ’round and ’round with Andrea. I want him to know that I care for him as a person more than I care about winning an argument. I’m going to pray for him and let God speak to his heart. He knows this and said the other day–I suppose there’s no way I could convince you to spend in a more useful way your time instead of praying for me, right?
You suppose correctly, friend.
But Andrea asked some very, very poignant questions yesterday that struck a chord in my heart. Questions that could lead to something much bigger and better than another “religious” debate. I have some answers simmering in my head, but I’d like to open it up to some of you first.
Here’s what he said: Ali (and Gabe in the past) and I think every Christian clearly says that in your “relationship” there is NO WAY for a person to reach God. Only God can reach the person. So there is NOTHING I could do to reach god. Even simply “accepting him” is an act towards, and you say that I can’t reach him. How could I reach God, Christ or build this “relationship” if I can’t do ANYTHING?
Another aspect: how can a person who’s NOT in a Christian nation being saved? Due to this “one-way” and “here only” method, a person in Africa will perish in Hell, since he has no chance to know your god. Am I correct?
So if I wanted to become Christian, how can I, since I can’t reach him?
So, tell me, friends, is there no way to reach God? Is there anything I can do? Is it true that I can’t come to God; I have to wait for Him to come to me? Is there hope for people in “non-Christian” nations?
And the biggest question of all–If I wanted to become Christian, how can I, since I can’t reach him?
Andrea and Gabe have had several chats via the computer over the past few years. And Gabe said tonight that he has told Andrea on several occasions–“Andrea, you’re chatting with me for a reason. There’s a reason you keep coming back. If you don’t “need” anything, if there are no gaps in your life, then why are you here?”
So, here are my “light and easy” questions for your holiday Friday (and I’m hoping that some of you are still here to answer them, rather than off eating watermelon and waving sparklers):
For those of you who follow Christ: How would you answer Andrea’s questions?
And for Andrea: Why are you here, friend? What keeps pulling you back?
And that’s it.
Stay tuned next week for “God Showed Up at my Garage Sale,” a Super-Fun Give-Away, an Interview with Amanda, and some other fun stuff!
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans! And Happy Weekend to the rest of you!