Lately I have been bombarded with statements from many self proclaimed non-Christians that “we believe in the same God”. And I like to tell them, “No way!”
Why not? Because, in general, their god is a very impersonal god, sitting on high, watching us all fail miserably. Their god, generally does NOT care for the poor the weak and the fatherless. Their god is not my God. .
It is easy to be tricked and to be persuaded otherwise because they call their god, Jesus. They speak about their experiences in church that seem so similar to ours. But the differences are there and the distinction is a damning one. Not everyone that calls Jesus Lord is going to be recognized by Jesus as His own. So simply knowing the name is NOT enough.
In college, I was a philosophy major and many times, the only professing Christian in my upper level classes. I cannot tell you how many times I had to defend my faith, not on any Biblical basis but on the well known fact that most Christians have no idea what is written in their own Holy Book. I actually had to prove that I was actually a true believer to non-believers! Thankfully I knew what I believed, but so many others don’t.
The most important conversation of my young philosophical career came before I had even decided on a major. It was my first semester in college and I decided to attend a philosophy mixer after class one day. Needless to say, I got caught in a one on one conversation with a Grad student, about religion and God of all things. To say that I knew that I was a goner from the beginning is very appropriate. So as we were coming to the end of the conversation with me no closer to convincing this guy of the existence of God than I was when I said “hello” to him thirty minutes earlier, I was about to admit complete and total defeat. Just before I opened my mouth to say so, this super confident Grad Student asked me the definition of faith.
My mind was so wounded and confused that I simply shook my head. The guy smiled at me and said, “It’s to believe on that which you have no proof of”. I had lowered my head upon hearing him speak, but when he concluded, he stayed silent long enough for his words to seep into my consciousness. When I looked up he was still smiling at me, but I realized that his smile was that of pride…in me.
I had proven, if not my point, my faith. I could not have done so IF I had only my parents’ words and experiences to go off of. The onslaught of questions that were asked and the answers demanded of me were only sufferable because I knew within myself that He DID indeed exist. The fact that I couldn’t PROVE it, was not the point, I didn’t need to be able to prove it, I just needed to believe IT to be so.
Luke 9:20 -“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
I’ve heard countless tales from the pulpit about the dangers of allowing our young people to go to secular schools and study theology and philosophy, because those two courses are likely to turn our kids into atheists. And the sad part is that it is TRUE in a lot of cases. But not because of what is taught, it’s due to the shoddy foundation that most Christian youth go to college standing on.
My Dad said it best, “…one day it will not be enough to say I believe in God because of my parents or pastor.”
He told me this when I was 15 or so, and not three years later I was grateful for that bit of knowledge. In fact his words are what I repeat to anyone and everyone who will listen, because simply knowing the name of God, and attending church with your parents regularly will one day not be enough of an answer for the world…nor for God.