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Dialoguing with an Agnostic – Pt. 2

June 7, 2009

Hmmm...

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  Romans 10:14

People want to know.  And someone is going to tell them.  The rub lies in what they are going to be told or not told.  Someone needs to tell them the good news of the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.  And it isn’t just the pastors for an hour on Sunday.  It is us.  And it isn’t just with what we say.  It also has to be with how we live.  The Gospel is more than just fire insurance. It is who we are.

Let’s take a look at a few more of Chris’s answers about Christianity (If you missed part one you can check it out here):

2)  Describe your history with respect to church and Christians?

I was raised Lutheran and haven’t had a whole lot of history in regards to Christianity.

Chris actually hits the nail on the head here.  He is more or less saying “I might have been raised in a certain tradition, but that isn’t what makes a person a Christian.”  I would agree with that.  Being a Christian isn’t about how your parents chose to raise you.  That’s not to say that those things aren’t important.  I thank God often for how my parents raised me.  I was raised Lutheran also.  But so was Chris. So I think it is safe to conclude that different upbringings can have different effects on different people.  Ultimately, it is up to God.

3)  When, if at all, have you engaged with Christians?  What were your impressions?

The only time I have ever really engaged with them was in High School and our FCA.  They (in no disrespect at all) came off kind of cult-ish.  They were all fairly fanatical with trying to get people to join and they always seemed to only be around each other, never really broadening out at all.

Ouch. But sometimes the truth can hurt.  And as the saying goes “perception is reality.”  We do need to broaden out.  Meet people where they are and sometimes, even on their terms.  We are to be in the world but not of it.  Here is just one example (there are many more) of this idea from scripture:

15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. – John 17:15-18

Jesus did not pray to God for him to take us out of the world.  Rather, he is the one that sent us into it. In it, but not of it.  Church is more than Sunday mornings.  So take some advice from my friend Chris.  You have a friend that is just like he is.  Start listening to him. Praying for him.  Reading scripture with him in mind and not just yourself.  Know it to live it, not just to know it.

Your Chris, just like mine, is worth it

You’re on the road
But you’ve got no destination
You’re in the mud
In the maze of her imagination
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