Ashish Joy is a 22 years old Malayalee Christian. He is a Theology Major at Portland Bible College in Oregon State, USA. Ashish Joy is a musician, a writer and enjoys computers. Above all, he loves God with devoted passion and desires to see Christians rise up to become world-changers and trend-setters in the ministry and in the marketplace.View all articles by Ashish Joy
I was watching a lecture by a well-known atheist today and it got me thinking about my Christianity. It’s not that I was doubting my Christianity, but I was doubting whether I understood what I believed enough to truly answer the questions he was posing.
In a sense I was asking myself, “Am I capable of communicating the Christian worldview I have?” These questions has been a struggle of mine for many years. If I had listened to this lecture maybe even three years ago, I would have struggled to hold on to my faith. Here was a person decrying the foundation of my existence, and I was not sure if I had the guile to really answer the questions he fired away at his listeners.
I realized something though in the process. The God I serve cannot be seen, cannot be touched, cannot be physically felt, and does not speak when we desire Him to. The God we serve is God Himself, and my questioning His existence has nothing to do with the fact that He already is there. He can be seen when He desires to be seen, touched when He wants to be touched, felt when He allows Himself to be felt, and speaks when He desires to.
One thing that remains as a testimony of His character is His Word, the Bible; another thing is the examples of those who claim to be Christ-followers; and finally what remains is creation itself speaking out. We have seen an attack on all three fronts as the Bible has been questioned, Christians have proven to be hypocrites, and science has deluded the minds of people all over the world.
The God I serve must be met, not taught. I don’t follow a religion, I follow a person whose name is Jesus Christ. I don’t follow a set of creeds because I am somehow attracted to what they will offer me, rather I follow God because I know who He is and I follow His words because they are His words. When someone truly comes to terms with the Christ of the Scriptures they are left with a decision to be made. They can either reject it or accept it.
For me the atheist-Christian debate comes down to a question. “Have you ever met God?” The atheist of modern times living in North America meets many people who say they are Christian. They faithfully attend church, read their Bibles dutifully, look out for their communities, and bless those around them. The atheist however sees God and Christianity as this ever-expansive religion, but fail to realize however that this Christian belief system is a really a relational faith system.
I know who God is and God knows who I am. It is a two-way relationship that I adhere to. It is not a code of ethics I follow, nor is it a set of principles I would lay my life down for. Rather this Christian life as it is called is a relationship I have with Jesus Christ. Once I meet God, only then can I truly say that there is a God.
What’s happening in our day is that there are those who grew up in a Christian family or Christian worldview. They realized that their belief system was based on a set of moral guidelines, they did not fully understand who Christ is or what He did, and consequently they never truly met God and therefore, created a god from a figment of their own imagination and followed it. To their dismay however the god they followed did not hold up to the questions that were thrown their way.
When secular humanism came along their belief system tanked. When evolution told them the earth was billions of years old, they misunderstood the Bible. When society said truth is irrelevant, they had nothing to back up the ‘truth’ they followed because it was not founded on the Truth, but fabricated out of their own imagination.
We must meet God if we are to know Him. If you look at the world today, a rising indifference to the God of the Scriptures should not intimidate the true believer. For it they are truly believing the words of the Christ of the Scriptures, if they truly had a holistic encounter with the Christ on the Cross, they would have no qualms about following Him.
It’s when we don’t know something that we create something else to combat our blatant misunderstandings. Atheists look to organized religion and say, what a bunch of bull. I look at organized religion and for the most part completely agree with the atheist. The God I serve is not about religion, rather He is about true relationship and utter dependence upon Him.
There is no need to be afraid of mental gymnastics with an atheist who is well versed and smart. It’s all about the encounter one has with Christ. If you have had it…you can say that beyond a shadow of a doubt Christ is Christ. However, if you haven’t had a real encounter with Christ then everything about Him is up for speculation. There still remain some who knew Christ but left the faith because they were enticed by fleshly desires and gave into their depraved nature. For such as these the deception is greater still.
My encouragement to those struggling with their Christianity, is that truth always rises to the top when pressed, ridiculed, ignored, hated, or shoved into some corner. If you truly know Christ, there is nothing to fear because your faith in Him is something that travels deeper than your reasoning and understanding. If you haven’t met Him today, I encourage you to do so. If you have met Him but do not truly know Him, I ask you to spend time with Him. If you have spent time with Him but do not truly understand His ways, I encourage you to ask Him reveal Himself to you. If you have asked Him to reveal Himself to you but you still struggle with your faith, I ask you keep spending time in His presence and learning from Him. True understanding takes time.
One thing I know…He never goes back on His word. He waits for you to seek Him out. He waits for you because He’s already initiated the entire process. He spread His arms and died upon a Cross and that invitation still stands today…reach out and meet Jesus Christ today. Only then will your belief system stand against the onslaught of ever-growing, atheistic, God-forsaking, humanistic ideas and philosophies.
My challenge to you today is this…Meet Christ Today