Ok, we have complained or rather our author has complained.
We don’t know enough. We are slow of speech. Life is too busy to study God’s word and on and on…all reasons why we just don’t have what we need to explain our faith.
We admit that we have a religion that is more centered on the heart than the head. That makes it hard for skeptical non-Christians to accept.
But what do we have going for us as Christians? Is there anything that makes our religion rational? How can we explain it to the doubter, to the unbeliever, to the person intent on attacking our beliefs?
Little quotes the garden story. The shortened version of the story goes like this. A garden is amazingly beautiful and one day, explorers come upon it; they are dumbfounded that no one seems to be tending it. They can’t believe that it is growing on its own. They are skeptical, setting up barbed wire, electrifying it, getting bloodhounds to patrol it. But no one comes to tend the garden. The skeptics state the gardener must be “invisible, intangible, eternally elusive” or maybe there is no gardener at all.
It is obvious that the gardener in the story is God. He is the originator of the beauty that exists in the garden spot but we cannot see Him. But wait, for the person who does not know God, we can explain that we did see Him. He came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ. Unlike other Gods that other religions worship, our God is not invisible. He existed with us on earth for a while and as He left, He promised we would be with Him again.
The next thing we have is the Holy Spirit. This is tricky to explain to a non-believer, skeptic, atheist or agnostic. What makes it tricky is that these types of people are not experiencing the Holy Spirt because they are full-time Holy- Spirit deniers. A believer knows the Holy Spirit is a direct God-connection. I live every day and as I do, I pray to God to direct me. He does [I believe] through my Holy Spirit. Is it measurable? Can I prove it with some physical response that one is able to record? The answer is no. Does it exist? I know it does.
The unbeliever thinks my Holy Spirit is silly. Little states “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned”
Obviously this is an impossible situation for the skeptic. I know I have a Holy Spirit and for me it is real. The skeptic will not accept the Holy Spirit and their denial makes it impossible for them to experience it. We are at cross-purposes and neither will budge from their position.
Lastly, we have to acknowledge that we will know the truth of our God if we are willing to ask Him for help to understand. There is the catch for the skeptic. They don’t want to believe in God so God will not make them believe. God is perfectly capable of ignoring the stiff-backed human. This spirit of rebellion keeps many from coming to the Lord.
For many years in my life, I felt that belief in God meant that I would miss out on the “joys” of life. I refused to believe whole-heartedly in God because I felt God was asking too much of me.
What did I think I would give up?
Really? What fun was I having that would overpower the peace that I feel as a believer? Anyone who knows Christ knows that peace is a large idea that represents a fruitful life with God as our guide. Tranquility in spite of our circumstances. Quietness in the face of negative situations. Contentment can occur in the face of our materialistic society. Empathy for those who have less than us which can result in service to others. Trust in the love that God has for us, trust that He has our best interest in His plan, trust that a better future can occur no matter what our circumstances. Forgiveness of our sins and acceptance despite the fact that we don’t deserve it. Hope that the future is a much better place.
Was the fun I was having something I would trade for all that?
No, I was just being a rebel.
I did not want to believe because I did not want to make the commitment I needed to make to God.
Paul Little calls this a “moral problem”, not an intellectual problem. The intellectual simply does not want to believe.
For me, it was a matter of lack of will and also a stubborn will, the stubborn will of the person who thinks he is too smart to give his life to Christ.
We have something when we believe in God.
We have a Savior, a Savior who cared so much for you and me that He came to earth to teach us how to live, to give us direction about how to get to The Father.
Will the skeptics ever understand?
Yes they will, if they admit that Jesus exists, if they let God into their hearts, and most of all if they let God into their minds.