Struggling

I stumbled across a blog last night that trapped me for hours. The author is a man who became a Christian, studied the Word of God, worked in ministry, and then decided it was all a sham and renounced his faith. He now states he is agnostic, puts his trust in science and questions everything else. My heart broke for him and his family.

I hope that one day he returns to Christ. In the meantime, I believe he has the right to struggle with what he believes, to question the standard answers, and to want more proof. I do that myself. The difference is that when I struggle, I do it in the presence of the Lord. I ask Him for help in understanding. This man is doing it with his back turned to the Light. And I can’t imagine how dark and lonely that must be.

This isn’t about him though. What really struck me about the blog was the hundreds of comments he receives. There are arguments happening there that I dealt with in my philosophy classes. And there are some really angry people there.

I know plenty of men and women who don’t believe as I do and I love and respect every one of them. That’s the key to cross-faith relationships: respect. Because most of the writers of these comments don’t have respect for Christians. They mock our beliefs and refuse to believe that we can be both intelligent and faithful. They attack the ideas of Christianity vengefully and with hardened hearts.

And that’s what stood out to me most- their hearts are hard. Toward Jesus, God, the church, and Christians in general. That’s something that no response or rationale or argument from me will change. I can’t make them listen, much less believe.

They say that they’d believe in Christ if there was proof. That’s all they want- proof. Physical, tangible proof. But they are so hardened to Him that even when proof is standing in front of them they deny it.

Their struggle reminds me of kids who plug their ears and scream, “I can’t hear you!” It doesn’t mean the adult isn’t talking. It means they are choosing not to hear. They are choosing not to believe.

Realizing that unnerves me on two fronts.

First- there are some very intelligent, very passionate people who are so stubborn that they are not willing to even hear what Jesus is offering them.

Secondly- it means that God really does give us the free will to deny Him.

And that second one brings me to my knees.

Romans 1:20-23

20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

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