I WATCHED A YOUTUBE VIDEO last night with this title. I was disappointed and sad. Disappointed because this was a 2-hr long video and I was expecting to hear things that would challenge my Christian faith—after all, I’ve only been a born-again Christian for 7 months, so I’m a newbie. I’m not even done reading the Bible. However, I was disappointed that the flaws with all of the speaker’s arguments were so evident, even to me. And I was sad because this person was obviously looking for a spiritual “something” with earnest, but he was so misguided, blind with the pride that comes from the “knowledge that puffs,” that he did not realize how shallow his so-called analyses are.
Basically, this is a young man named Joshua Evans and his story was that he was raised in a small town of the South (or maybe North Carolina, something like that) by conservative Methodist grandparents who dragged him to church as a child (I think he was trying to imply that these were the “good” type of Christians, not liberal ones, so this was the “best of the best” as far as Christianity in his mind) and that he eventually did want to “pursue” being a Christian out of his own will (clear lack of understanding of what being born-again in Jesus Christ is). Anyway, his kind of mentor friend started attending some strict Christian university where men had to wear slacks, button-up shirt and ladies had to wear skirts to the ankles, etc. (again, trying to supposedly show how disciplined his study was) when Joshua was 16. So, his friend was majoring in textual analysis and would do a lot of work alongside Joshua. He said he learned some Hebrew and Greek and that his friend and him decided to do something that was strange for Christians—they decided to *gasp* READ THE BIBLE. What?? Why would you do that??? Seriously, that’s the way he portrayed it. So, this purported Christian Youth Leader (in another video referred to as a Youth Minister) was reading through it and was horrified that people like Noah, Lot, and David were imperfect—he was shocked that they were not the caricaturized versions he learned about in Sunday School because he was expecting them to be perfect since they are known as men of God. So, this totally turned his world upside down. And so, he said he committed the “cardinal sin,” as he called it, of Christianity, which is to ask questions. I was floored: what is he talking about??? This poor young man—my heart goes out to him—he was and is so confused. So, he goes on to ask his pastor about what he was reading and he said his pastor just kinda brushed off his questions and told him to read the NT, and when he had questions again, he said the pastor told him just to have faith. So, Joshua went on talking about how God gave him a brain to think things through so this faith stuff was all fluff. At some point, he talked to a professor at his friend’s university and the professor explained to him that the books of the Bible had been copied and translated many times, so that there were bound to be errors in it. So, after his “exhaustive analysis,” at the ripe age of 17, he basically decided he had learned everything there was to learn about being a Christian and that he could not follow a religion that was not perfect because God is perfect.
I am so sad for him. He never understood what following Christ means. He never even understood what faith is. Even more sadly, he did not seem to encounter anyone who knew either. Specifically, he did not seem to encounter anyone with a solid understanding of the Bible and its role in our lives—much less, anyone who even explained the GOSPEL to him! So, Joshua read the whole Bible, and he said the only thing he got out of it is that there is one God. Wow. He missed A LOT! That’s like writing up a restaurant review like: “They serve food there. The end.”
Anyway, eventually he meets a Muslim who points him to a mosque and he reads the Qur’an and it makes sense to him and the people were nice to him, so he joins Islam.
I think this type of story highlights 2 main issues today:
1) Without Christ as the Lord of our lives, we base our decisions on what makes sense to our imperfect, blinded, influentiable brain… trusting our own point of view to determine right and wrong. We are not repenting, we are not seeking out God’s will—as a whole, we go by what seems right to US.
2) The majority of people who call themselves Christian are unequipped to guide people with questions because everyone is so busy doing “the church thing” instead of submitting their lives to God. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) How many of us are doing this daily? I speak for myself, also—we must do this daily.
There are so many holes in this young man’s logic. What makes me sad is that in his ignorance, he truly thinks he was “enlightened.” He truly believes Christians are simply uneducated as to what is in the Bible and where it came from. Many that call themselves Christians ARE, though. For most, the Bible is something you crack open once a week at a service, IF that, since many churches just have the verses printed right up on the program for your convenience… so you don’t have to bother with looking up the Word of God.
But you know, I thought he made a good point in the end that we need to apply. He said that the reason he was sharing his story was because he wanted to encourage Muslims to share the “truth” they have and not to just keep it to themselves. We say the same in Christianity. This is basic. How much of this sharing do we carry out, though? Do we do everything we can to share this TRUTH that we believe is LIFE-SAVING??? Me, too—it’s something I ask of myself—it applies to everyone. Nobody has “arrived,” or is perfect.
If you call yourself a Christian:
1) Do you UNDERSTAND the Gospel? Can you explain it and what it means? Seriously, do you understand the significance???
2) Are you alert to situations where you could share it? Do you share it at every opportunity or ever?
3) Do you live your life according to the words of Jesus? Do you forgive (70 x 7 times)? Do you love people in word and deed? Do you seek out to be of service? Do you honor your parents? Do you stay away from legalism? Do you DENY YOURSELF so that Jesus Christ can live in you?
4) Do you seek out God’s will instead of your own? Do you seek out Scripture to help guide your moral compass?
5) Do you seek out to spend time with God in prayer and throughout your day? Is your prayer life only made up of 30-sec prayers before meals or asking God for things you want?
If you’re not a Christian:
1) Have you ever considered where we came from and why we are here?
2) Does it truly make sense to you when people say we came from nothing??? I mean: “There was nothing, and then nothing did nothing to nothing, and BOOM, here we are?” Really!?!?!
3) Have you ever considered the Bible’s unbroken record of fulfilling prophecy in verifiable historical ways?
4) After you see this fact for yourself, have you considered the implications for the unfulfilled prophecies that remain?
5) Do you know what will happen to you when you die? (Which could be tomorrow for all you know) What will you do if there is a God who will judge you based on whether or not you followed the words of Jesus? (Jesus said we would be judged by His words) Don’t you think it’s worth finding out???
6) Do you know that, no matter what you do, no matter what religion you belong to, you CANNOT be saved if not through Jesus Christ? It doesn’t matter how good of a person you think you are or how many self-less acts you committed. There is no such thing as the “good weighing out the bad” when it comes to salvation. And there is no such thing as “God knows I did my best,” or “God knows I had good intentions.” There is no salvation except through Jesus Christ. What I am saying is a pretty big statement, so don’t you think it’s worth finding out whether it’s true or not?
Christian and non-Christian alike: Let’s not be lazy, my friends. We will die.