By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service GROVE, OKLAHOMA
“But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him because only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in”—1 Corinthians 2:14 (TLB).
“Others have placed their trust in us and it is our responsibility not to mislead them with fairy stories.”
This is only a portion of a recent comment received from an individual on a social media site where I post my columns. While it is not my goal to engage in “arguments” with an unbeliever, I felt led to respond to this young man’s statement.
“I’m sorry you feel that way. I place my trust in God, not man. And whose responsibility are you talking about here? As a follower of Christ, it is my responsibility to share the Good News. No one is forcing you to believe.”
This young man’s profile, posted on the site, shows he is an engineering student searching for a job. His resume, which listed volunteer experiences, includes a two-month stint at a church. His activities were varied: Greeting congregation members and helping visitors sign in; Setting up and rearranging furniture and stage equipment to accommodate changing activities; Helping prepare and distribute food; Performing rudimentary maintenance duties such as cleaning and vacuuming; Performing as a member of skits and reenactments for the children’s ministry.
Did someone involved with the church do something to dampen his enthusiasm for serving the Lord? Was this young man only volunteering to add to his resume and impress potential employers? What really happened? Why would he think the Good News was a fairy tale?
In an article by pastor and author Craig Groeschel, he writes, “So many people want to believe in God’s presence and goodness, but they just have too many unanswered questions. Something in them longs to trust in God—to know him, to feel his presence, to sink into his peace, to believe he’s there for them, helping them carry their burdens. They want to pray and know that he hears them. They want comfort. They want to know that he’s with them, that he’ll protect them. Deep down, they hope God is more than just some kind of made-up cosmic figure that gullible people naively trust. They want him to inhabit more than retreaded clichés thrown around by politicians, activists and Jesus freaks.”
More than one story of doubters appears in the Bible, including one of Jesus’ own disciples, Thomas, the original doubter. Thinking about the young man who’d responded to my post, I also wondered if he’d always been a doubter or had he once attended church and believed in a God who created the heavens and the earth? Or, as a child, had his past not included exposure to a loving God?
As believers, we are tasked by God to be conveyors of the Good News in word and deed. After all, it’s not a fairy tale.
I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by my blog at www.carolaround.com for more inspiration.
Photo credit: cambridge.org