Been enjoying some interesting conversation over on twitter. I can’t quote it because it involves the F-bomb – but some non-believers ended up being followed by the @Kidology twitter account probably due to using some key words such as “kids” and “church” in the same tweet – and ended up tweeting about how “sick” we were for “brain washing” kids and “making a business” out of it.
As I tried to engage one of these folks, just to apologize and let them know we’d ‘unfollow’ them, we eneded up getting into a public conversation about God, atheism and the pointlessness of prayer, etc. One of them (not the one who dropped the F-bomb) claims to be a “well adjusted free thinking atheist.” Not sure what she is “well adjusted” from. Perhaps, adjusted from life without God, since she mentioned giving up on God 30 years ago since He never answered her prayer. Made me sad. I wonder what she prayed for? I also wonder what she is free of? She mentioned be guilt-free? That also made me sad. I don’t know if some Christians have imposed guilt on her for sins they see in her life or some life-style overlooking their own sins? Or perhaps she just perceives this. If I’ve learned anything in my journey, it is that Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet. Or maybe she feels a sense of guilt knowing she is not in line with her Creator’s design for her life? I wish she understood that the most beautiful thing about the Christian Faith is that we can walk GUILT FREE because of Jesus. That our God doesn’t point His finger at us, He points at Jesus who came to die for our sin and take the punishment for our sin away from us, not judge us for it.
She mentioned that she was disappointed that her prayer of years ago wasn’t answered. I don’t know what that prayer was for. But I do know that God answers prayer. In small and in huge dramatic ways. I’ve experienced it many times. Millions have. Apparently she had not. Why? Of course, I can’t answer that – especially not knowing what she prayed for, but I do know that God answers prayer for His children differently than He does for those who have not yet surrendered to Him. It’s like the difference between a kid asking his own parents for something, and asking a parent in a house down the street. A neighbor parent might give you something – but your own parent has an obligation to provide for you. When you are just a creation of God – you live on His block – He often will help you out, but when you become His child, things change – I wish so much this woman would understand that were she to give her life to God, to give God a chance, to become one of His children, the floodgates would open, and her prayers would have the ear of a Father, not just of her Creator
Nevertheless, I was sad to hear of her disappointment with God and therefore choice of Atheism. But it was understandable. You can’t argue someone to faith – you can only graciously hope to guide them to be open to what God might what to show them, if they will be open to experiencing it. If they aren’t, there is nothing you can really do. No one was every argued into the Christian Faith.
Sometimes I wonder if it is worth engaging in discussions on twitter or facebook or blogs with atheists or non-believers… does it really do any good? Can I really change their minds? Probably not.
But if I don’t answer – if I don’t try – do I really believe what I believe? And if I leave a question unanswered – too I give the impression that there is no answer? So I try. Too many Christians don’t even try. Or they just quote Bible verses or preach back at them with meaningless arguments that I think just tick them off or at least annoy them. I’m sure I have in my sincere attempts. Though I try to use compassion and logic rather than spouting off Bible verses. What good is quoting a Bible verse if they don’t believe the Bible? You and I may have studied the historicity of the Bible and understand why it is reliable – “God said it, I believe it” works for us, but when you don’t even believe God exists, the source is in doubt.
Instead, they need someone to answer them with a little more compassion. I told this woman not to give up on God – that even in the silence, God still cares. And I admitted that answer sucks. I think non-Christians need to hear that kind of honesty from us because I think sometimes we are afraid to admit it. The truth sucks sometimes. God doesn’t always answer our prayers. Sometimes He seems distant.
And so, some people, give up. Like this lady on twitter. They give up on Him and decide instead to be “well adjusted free thinking atheists.” She gave up, 30 years ago. How do we invite her back? We engage her. I probably failed. Did I bring her a step closer? Maybe. Maybe not.
I have no idea if I handled this right. But at least I’m engaging the lost. Sometimes we get too comfortable in our Christian circles and loss sight of WHY we do what it is that we do – to reach the lost.
And so I ask you – when was the last time you had the F-bomb dropped on you? Maybe that’s a good sign you are on Enemy territory? Every time it happens to me over the years I realize, I’m engaged in the battle!
At least this woman with her unanswered prayer of 30 years ago, who has learned to adjust to life without God was reminded today through a chance tweet that God does care, He does love her, and He does want to know her.
And I prayed for her. I guess both she and I will find out 1,000 years from now whether anyone heard my prayer.
Follow @Kidology on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/kidology