Big surprise right?
I wasn't meaning to, in fact I wasn't planning on getting into a lengthy discussion about 'religion' with anyone when I posted a comment on a National news forum. I know putting oneself out there runs a risk for public ridicule, but sometimes the truth if not spoken leaks out of me in other ways and would in fact keep me up at night if I didn't share what I know Scripture says to be true.
I covet sleep.
I also can't ignore a direct challenge. <----- (see that pride?)
An outspoken atheist wrote they wished people would just lose religion altogether and according to them if this happened, the world would be a better place. The atheist went on to say that if more people believed in *fact* more than a supernatural 'experience' peace could be realized globally. I half agreed with the sentiment, but I had to explain my observation of that stance with a simple description.
This is what I said:
"You know your heart is a part of you, beating, doing it's job. You know if it stops doing it's job, you will die. You can't see your heart, but you can feel it, and it's a part of who you are."
I went on to explain that the Christian faith is a relationship with Our Creator that becomes a part of us, that born again believers can't help but feel The Holy Spirit and welcome His mighty work in order to function as Christ followers on a daily basis. We are unable to turn it off. We can no more deny Jesus than deny our beating heart. Knowledge of this brings peace.
The response I received was actually pretty cute:
"I can use an x-ray to see my heart, so YOUR point is invalid."
Chuckling, I wrote back, "Great analogy! Let's use that and take it further. An x-ray is an amazing tool used to see your heart. However, it doesn't show you your actual heart, but an image of your heart. You trust the machine is revealing what you believe to exist in your chest."
I went deeper.
"In the same way you trust an x-ray machine, born again believers trust Scripture. The written Word of God reveals Christ Jesus on every page, every story, every verse. Every. Single. Word. Jesus is as real to us as seeing an image of our heart beating on a screen or still in a picture. We are incapable of ignoring God, even if we tried to!"
That ended the argument publicly, privately I was pm'd a bit more. You know, the usual insults and derogatory accusations, but I gave short responses and Bible verses because at the end of the day, God's Word is so much more powerful than I.
Do I blame this atheist for what they hold so dear as their faith?
Not one bit.
If not for the grace of God, I too would believe (Or disbelieve) the same things. Natural man is incapable of recognizing the Supernatural Nature of Our Heavenly Father. This isn't meant as an insult, it proves thousand year old prophetic writings; only God can open the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, the mouth of the mute, and replace the stone heart of the dead.
Recently I received an inquiry as to the spiritual status of my own children. I really didn't know how to respond appropriately, for I didn't want the conversation to veer off course, as these types of conversations have a bad habit of doing when my mouth is involved.
Thankfully, I know deep in my soul that my parental responsibility is to teach my children from Scripture, to model the call that The Lord designed for me, solely trusting Him and His lead all the while. The last thing I want to do in this life of mine is pressure my children into 'accepting' Christ. They are always eager to please Mommy and if I queried, they would 'ask Jesus into their heart' in order to make me happy. If it turned out to be a false relationship as they move on into adulthood my heart would break!
We make disciples.
There are too many fake 'believers' out there, people who talk about Jesus as if he's a free ticket to Paradise, but their lives reflect who is actually on the throne of their heart and it's clearly not He who has died, rose again and is sitting at the Right Hand of The Father as I type this. The world has seen too many instances of 'Christians' who have fallen away, who reject the very man they claim to know by their chosen lifestyle. I want to be intentional about my approach when discussing salvation with my kids. I desperately want them to know accepting Jesus is not an easy road, that reward awaits eternally yes but much pain awaits on this earth, especially the part of dying to oneself. My desire is to give the enemy less ammo to drag our Saviour's name through the mud by way of my five offspring and in turn, their choices. I am praying that true repentance, forgiveness and a view of God's Grace remains the theme in their minds as we grow.
Honestly, I would rather my children say they are atheists than declare Jesus is Lord of their lives but produce no fruit of that claim. That, to me, would be exponentially more painful as a Believing Mother. Call me callous or whatever, it's not that I wish for my children go to Hell, it's that I know I personally deserve to be there! I owe everything, my very breath and beating heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I refuse to diminish His ministry even to satisfy my own natural fear as a Mom.
I know for a fact God is LOVE. I know God is GOOD always. I know He is THE just God, with wisdom incomprehensible. I know the cross event has erased all of the sins of His people. I know that I cannot save my children, but they WILL be taught truth while they are in my care. Love will be our banner, mercy our path. No one can convince me otherwise.
Faith is what drives me.
The Spirit sustains me.
Hope is why I carry on.