By David McNeely
Periodically I will hear this question, “Do you know how ridiculous it sounds?” They are referring to THE reason behind why Christians believe what we believe. We believe many things. We believe some crazy sounding things.
We believe that God is, that God created, that man fell, that God sent, that Jesus finished, and that we must believe. And we believe all of this because the Bible says it is true. Can I filter that through the lens of someone who does not believe?
(DISCLAIMER – this is not indicative of everyone who is not a follower of Jesus. I do not wish to put words into other’s mouths. Lord knows I hate it when people do that to me, but this is a decent representation of a perspective I often hear.)
It goes something like this:
“Ok, so you believe that God created the world in 6 days. Even though science tells us it took millions of years. He then made a dude out of dirt and made a chick by taking one of the dude’s ribs and crafting it into woman.”
At this point their heads are cocked to the side; eyebrows are raised high, looking at me intently. I’m just smiling.
“God placed them in a garden where they were smart enough to give names to all the animals but not smart enough to stay away from a magic tree that would bring death and curses to the whole world? Their ghastly decision was to feed themselves fruit? After eating, they all of the sudden figure out they have no clothes.”
Long pause…waiting for me to see my own stupidity. I’m still grinning and nodding my head up and down.
“But God promised He would do something about sin, so thousands of years later God miraculously gets a girl pregnant who has never had sex. Jesus is the baby. He is the God-man who takes away the sin of all who believe. He makes it so that people do not have to pay for their crimes.
He pays for all their crimes. He dies on Friday, comes back to life on Sunday, and flies up to heaven a little over a month later while promising to come back. 2000 years later His followers are still waiting for him to return to take them to the place where nothing is wrong at any time.”
At this point they are thinking, “Surely he sees the obvious. Oh crud, he said he’s from Alabama. I wonder if he knows the world is round?”
“Now David, you tell me you believe this because a book told you so. You claim this book is like no other book ever written. This is the same book that talks about a bush catching fire but never actually burning, frogs getting rained from the sky, an ocean splitting, the sun stopping in one place for a whole day, a city wall falling down because of a trumpet and screaming, a guy being carried to heaven in a whirlwind, a large fish who swallowed a human but kept him alive, people speaking perfectly in different languages without previously knowing those languages, and it all points to a carpenter from Galilee who was crucified as a reward for his perfect life.”
“There is no way I could ever believe that David.”
So I still smile and keep praying.
While this is not an actual conversation, trust me, I have heard all of it from various people. I did not make up one line that has not been given to me over the years.
Do you understand why people view it as silly? Of course you do.
When God’s Word is reduced to some nice literature but not divinely inspired and true, it sounds absurd. But if the Bible is true, if it is the very words of God, if it is divinely inspired, then the absurd becomes reasonable.
There is a reason for our faith. I am not trying at all to offer any sort of a response or defense for any of the truths brought into question from our fictitious friend above; there are other sources to dive into that will prove helpful for that. I’m just begging you to pick up the Book that is the source of all reason.
Read God’s Word. You won’t regret it.