Wednesday July 24th
A Christian friend and I had lunch with our Hindu / Skeptic friend. During the course of our conversation, here are some of the objections he brought up:
- He believes that all paths/religions are valid – there is not 1 true religion
- Evolution – thinks that all true scientists believe in evolution. If there are any anti-evolution writings, their origin can always be traced back to a spiritual source, and therefore can’t be trusted (biased).
- Many of his objections were of the category, “God doesn’t do what I expect (or how I would do it), and therefore He doesn’t exist.
- Inequity – bad people do well, good people suffer.
- All religion is man-made.
- Leaders rise up and have millions of followers and people end up deifying them. This has happened numerous times in history and Jesus is just another example of that
- There is no physical evidence of God or Christianity
- He is absolutely certain that there is no heaven or hell. This earth is where heaven or hell are.
- God can’t control his people – he can’t make them believe. Also, the ones who do believe, split into “denominations”. He named Protestants, Catholics and Mormons.
- He challenged, “So what happens if everyone believes in Jesus?” Do all the problems go away?
- He wanted to know about believing in Jesus, “what difference does it make?” I told him about the wrath of God that each person has due to him for his sin and how believing that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins reconciles you to God, making peace between you and God, since Jesus took your punishment, but if you reject Jesus and what He did, you have to pay the penalty for your own sins.
- He doesn’t trust the Bible – anytime we would bring up what it says, he would dismiss it. Anytime we would bring up what Jesus said, he would say that no one knows what Jesus actually said – that’s just what His followers said that He said.
- He believes that the followers of Jesus (who saw Him risen from the dead) were hallucinating. He believes they talked themselves into believing.
- His standard of belief is very high – he won’t believe unless God personally talks to him. Even then, he might think he is hallucinating.
- He wants “proof” for God.
- He wonders why Jesus showed up in this little insignificant place like Israel 2000 years ago. Why didn’t He show up in a big place, like New York City where many millions of people would’ve seen Him?
- He wanted to know “what is God?” I said, “Creator”. My friend said, “God is Spirit”. He said, “So, you can’t see God, right?” He went on saying that he can’t believe in anything he can’t see or detect in anyway.
Needless to say, we answered his questions the best we could – I thought we gave very reasonable answers, but he wasn’t convinced by them. Interestingly enough, on the way out to the parking lot, we were talking about who’s right and who’s wrong and I made the comment, “Maybe I’m wrong (although I don’t think I am), please convince me!” He said, “I can’t convince you, I’m lost!” I thought that was a remarkable admission and told him so and hugged him goodbye. I don’t think he knows the profoundness of his admission there – he is truly “lost” – in the biblical sense. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, and I pray that Jesus seeks and finds him, and similarly, I hope our friend seeks Jesus with a sincere heart!
Yesterday (Friday July 27th), shortly before it was time to leave work for the day, I saw a Muslim colleague of mine who will be quitting work next week and moving back to his country of origin. I wanted to talk to him and tell him I was really going to miss him and our conversations. He had another friend with him who I hadn’t met before. It turns out that guy works at our company on a different floor than me and in fact he is a Christian too! Anyway, my Muslim friend asked me something about whether the Bible spoke about his country of origin, so I showed him my Nuggets web site and searched the full Bible and found out that what he was asking me appeared in the Bible twice (Gen. 2:14, Dan. 10:4). I will let you (the reader) determine what he asked me to search for 🙂 Anyway, that opened a spiritual conversation that lasted about 45 minutes (caused me to get home late from work :()! It was a great conversation in which we compared and contrasted Christianity and Islam, and talked about our respective worldviews. I was able to share the Gospel with him as I explained the core message of Christianity, when he asked what the absolute necessary thing was to be a Christian (we had been talking about baptism, because another colleague of his is Mormon and had discussed baptism previously). During that part of our conversation, I shared Romans 10:9 – “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I emphasized that you have to believe in the Deity, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and trust in Him as your Lord and Savior in order to be a Christian. Of course he said that Muslims don’t believe that Jesus was crucified, but that Judas was crucified in His place. I searched my copy of the Qur’an on my Kindle for Sura 4:157 and showed him that. During the conversation, he was sharing various verses out of the Qur’an showing that all paths lead to God. He is a very moderate Muslim and made extreme effort to communicate that he respects all religions and that it is good people who go to heaven (from all religions). Wow… A lot could’ve been said there (and some was said in response at the time), but we would need many hours to fully unpack this topic and make sure he understands the biblical view and how it is different from Islam. Anyway, it was a great conversation and I will miss him and do pray that he would be reconciled to the one true God, Yahweh! I also hope and pray that I can continue to meet with and fellowship with the other new Christian friend I met during that conversation.