My recent encounter with hostile academic agnostics
revealed to me why it is so difficult to reach such people for
Christ. Explaining spiritual truth to them is like trying to describe
what colors look like to a person who is color-blind. They donít even
see or think in the same dimension. They have so many obstacles to
overcome before they can even be open to examining the truth of Godís
First of all they are high-minded and look down on
believers as simple-minded idiots. They think all Christians are led
by blind faith and they disdain them for being "suckers." The lecturer
at Cal State after showing the
anti-Christian film last week began the discussion afterwards by
inviting anyone in the room to define faith. Some people struggled
with words but could not come up with an answer. I held my peace to
see what the philosophy teacher would come up with. He proudly
proclaimed that the reason no one could answer the question is because
those who claim to have faith know that it is blind faith.
"Christianity is a blind faith," he proclaimed.
Thatís when I spoke up. "Oh, no it is not blind
faith," I responded. "Then how would you define it?" he said with a
smirk on his face. The Lord gave me the remembrance of the Scripture
as I said, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the
conviction of things not seen." Dead silence in the room. So, I
repeated myself, "íFaith is the assurance of things hoped for.í I have
the full assurance from the Holy Spirit that the Bible is Godís word
to mankind. There is nothing blind about it. I know that to be a fact
as much as I know that all of you in this room exist." I went on to
tell them that I didnít have that assurance until it was bestowed upon
me when I repented of my sins and committed my life to Jesus Christ.
Many groans were uttered when I said that, so I told them that God has
given everyone a measure of faith and that is why all civilizations
believe in God to one degree or another. The lecturer then asked me to
define faith in terms that werenít religious. So I said, "okay, faith
is when a pedestrian crosses the street on a green light and feels
assured that the cross traffic will stop for the red light." They
liked that answer better.
The second barrier to faith by the intellectual
crowd is that they canít believe in anything they canít test with
their senses. They want to see proof Ė sorta like what the Apostle
Paul said in 1 Cor. 1: 21-23:
- "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world
through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the
foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For
Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach
Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks
The evil film we were shown last week tried to make
a point that Christians are trying to convince them of ideas that
canít be proven, which is tantamount to asking these intelligent
people to adopt the same "blind faith." The viewers in that room
responded with a lot of "yeahs" and head nodding. When the subject
came up in the discussion, the lecturer had full support when he said
it would be foolish to believe in something that cannot be seen. I
responded that he should get out of the field of philosophy since that
also discounts his area of study as well as psychology and sociology.
I tried to get across to them that Christianity is not unreasonable
and that it is historic but the I ran into the third obstacle.
Third, they do not want to let go of any sinful
lifestyle they are living in. The lecturer reiterated what was brought
up in the documentary, that the Bible condemns homosexuality. And they
all concluded that since thatís the case it canít be divine. He
paraphrased the Old Testament law that any man caught lying with a man
as with a woman was to be stoned. I pointed out that those laws were
part of the theocratic system of the government of the new nation of
Israel and that they became a source of our own laws in America. When
I mentioned that the sodomy laws were on the books here up until only
a couple of decades ago the lecturer got nervous and said, "enough,
Today there are many false converts who will only
come to God on their own terms. Those in the modern homosexual
churches are not willing to forsake everything, pick up their crosses,
and follow Jesus. They will not lose their life in order to save their
life. They just tack Jesus onto their life choices. Their commitment
is not total as it is with true believers who come to Him not holding
onto anything of the old life, but who answer the call to die to self
and live for Christ. This attitude is not limited to homosexuals. In
fact, the problem is pandemic in Christendom of those who think
theyíve entered in but who do not come through the door of repentance.
Anyone who has read the John Bunyan classic, "Pilgrimís Progress"
knows what happens to them at the end of their earthly stay.
So when we invite people to know Christ we need to
be honest with them about the cost. They cannot hold onto their
favorite sin and be deceived into thinking that Jesus will overlook
their half-hearted confession of faith. And they also need to know
that if they will repent and come to Christ, no holes barred, He will
give them the Holy Spirit and their desires will be changed from the
inside out. And then they will have life and that more abundantly.
Then they will see that Christianity is not blind faith. Then they
will know the Creator of us all. He will not be a theory, or a
concept, or an illusion Ė He will reveal Himself and His Word will
become alive to them.