We want to look at and answer some of the questions that people have with Christianity and religion in general.
EXAMPLE: judge with interest in a case will recuse themselves because they can’t be objective in a case. I can walk a battlefield and see where people were and try to put the situation back together and I have no personal interest in it. In religion, I am not the same and neither are you. We all have a personal interest in the situation and can’t recuse ourselves from it.
WHAT IS RELIGION?
Can’t just be a pursuit of God or worship of some deity because Buddhist don’t believe in any God.
Belief in supernatural Hinduism doesn’t believe in that.
a set of beliefs that explain what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things that human being should spend their time doing.
2. BETTER OFF WITH NO RELIGION
Anti religious people out there saying Jesus was anti religious. Jesus came to fulfill religion every punctuation mark (Matthew 5: 17 – 19)
Societies have tried to eliminate religion or at least suppress it with a heavy hand, hasn’t worked so well.
- Khmer rouge in Cambodia
- Nazis to a point
None have been utopias
3. DESTROY POWER OF RELIGION
All major religions are equally valid and basically teach the same thing.
- God can’t just be an all loving spirit or force because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are built on the fact that people will be judged and give an account for their lives after they die.
- The problem that happens with many of these arguments is if I say something is wrong, then I must have some comprehension as to what is right.
- A person can’t just stand and accuse everything without an answer in their mind to what is right. EXAMPLE 28 % America is on a wrong path morally have some idea of where we should be heading.
2. Maybe each religion only has a piece of the truth.
This is sometimes shown as blind people touching an elephant and each seeing a part of it. To tell someone is wrong, then someone has to have the picture of the whole thing. Someone must not be blind and able to see the whole elephant.
How does this apply to us? If truth is too broad for anyone to fully grasp, who is the one who is standing from the vantage point where they know that others do not have the whole truth.
3. Maybe then they are all false and none have the truth
It is wrong to try and convert anyone because none are right.
EXAMPLE I was born in an Islam country so that is truth to me because that is all I know. You are born in United States where Christianity is predominately taught so that is right.
- woman arrested in Saudi Arabia for driving a car which is illegal.
- Thailand children used as prostitutes is that right?
The culture we live in has the possibility of being superior to others and our job is to share that knowledge with others. Are we wrong to try and share that knowledge with others? If someone comes up to me and states that God is just a spirit or too big to be known, they are trying to convert me to their set of beliefs also.
4. KEEP RELIGION PRIVATE
Let us just work together to solve the problems of our age, (AIDS, poverty, education)
Without a focus then the way to answer these problems is too different to achieve an answer.
- Defined as “sexual complementarity — the reality that men and women are ‘different from, yet designed for’ one another.” This complementarity is expressed in the procreation and nurture of children but is not exhausted by these “particular functions.” In other words, while having and raising children helps to order and make sense of marriage, there’s more to marriage than the kids. If this is my definition, then I will make divorce hard to attain.
- If marriage is institutionalized as an agreement between people for happiness, financial stability, and the reason people get married is they love each other, then anyone can get married and if these things are no longer happening, then I will make divorce easy to obtain.
EXAMPLE 2: Poverty
Poverty needs to be addressed and helped through a number of ideas
Poverty is overpopulation and genocide is the answer. Then we have a real problem in how we answer the situation
Eliminating Religion does not help us answer the real problems.
5. CHRISTIANITY THE ANSWER
Remember I am not recusing myself from the debate over religion. I have a lot invested in the argument.
Romans 15: 18 – 19 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done– 19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ
God has to work these things in us first.
I stayed in an apartment on an outreach in Detroit. When I turned on the light Cockroaches scattered everywhere. They were surprised by the light. The light didn’t create them, but it exposed them. God exposes things that are already in my heart, he doesn’t create them.
2 Corinthians 5: 5 God has given us….as a guarantee his spirit.
Worked in us then we give ourselves to others to see them changed.
Our example Jesus came to give his life for others so they can know the truth. Only when a generation is raised up to follow this example will we see change.
EXAMPLE: Father Damien After sixteen years caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those in the leper colony he eventually contracted and died of the disease, and is widely considered a martyr of charity
Holy Spirit is the power of God to change lives.
Key Point: Christianity wins when God works in and through his people to change society.
Wins = Jesus is lifted up and our lives begin to reflect who He is to those around us.
Change Society = Those around us are influenced by our lives. This may not always be good change. Some reject the image of Jesus we are showing and run toward the darkness. Change still happens and that is what living Christianity does.
EXAMPLE: Parent talking to child knowing they can’t comprehend, but they keep talking, why? I am going to teach them to communicate and someday they will grow into the knowledge of what I am saying. As we grow in this relationship with Jesus we begin to be like Him in this world as we comprehend who He is calling us to be.