In our culture, spiritual conversations are happening all around us. Though the world seems to be set on rejecting historical Christian values and principles, there is still a void in people that is being shouted out through music, novels and movies. Many of the most popular movies of our day deal with these issues by depicting a classic, historic and ongoing battle between a “good” god and a “bad” or “evil” one. We seem incapable of writing a script that does not allude in some way to God or spirituality, even if it’s just to try and reject these concepts.
As believers, we need to be ready to enter into these conversations. But we also need to understand that language has changed meanings and the concepts that we will talk about need to avoid “traditional,” Christian language, at least at the beginning stages. In other words, these will not be easy pitches across the plate.
In the world’s language today, though God may be spoken of, often the things that we may associate with “God” are suspect or outright rejected. Rather than becoming defensive we need to understand that this may become the open door we have been praying and looking for, though not exactly where we thought it would be!
Eric Metaxes, author of the notable biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, spoke once at the National Prayer Breakfast. He began his address by saying, “Everything I rejected about God wasn’t God.” He talked of his journey to belief that began with a deep exploration and ultimate rejection of his traditional faith and upbringing.
But God, in mercy, led him back. Recently I had a conversation with a gentleman who was searching spiritually. As we spoke, he told me of the things that he had rejected about Christianity; you know… the usual… “Christians are hypocrites….” “I can be good on my own….” I shared the thought that Metaxes had spoken and said, “It sounds like everything you have rejected about God isn’t God at all.” He grew silent and said, “I think you’re right.”
I’m not sure that our culture has rejected God as much as some false ideas about who He really is. As you speak to friends and coworkers and neighbors and family about their faith, don’t be put off by their rejection of non-essential things.
The primary thing is not that they have faith exactly in the same shape as yours. IT may not be. Our job is not to convert them to our WAY of seeing and expressing it…
… but to truly having a faith that saves!
FOR MEMORIZATION: Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. Romans 1:19 NKJV
FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever rejected things about God that weren’t really God at all? Think about what those were and remember them when you speak to a person struggling with their faith!