Bill Nye, the “Science Guy” is going to debate Ken Ham, the founder of the creationist museum regarding evolution versus creation. Cool. I read that tickets to this debate sold out in a matter of minutes. Understandable–it will probably be very interesting and informative.
I’m sure I should probably be all over this, in a manner of speaking. As a person of faith, I should support my “guy” in this debate, and ideologically, I do.
I am just not certain this kind of forum will win anyone for the kingdom. Allow me to explain.
I don’t believe that any Christian–no matter how eloquent or erudite–would be able to convince anyone who did not believe of anything through open debate. This is for a couple of reasons. One would be that people who profess a strong “faith” in science are typically very condescending toward people who do not, and who believe in a loving and living God, and clearly feel very much intellectually superior to them. These people are, generally speaking, not open to any ideas other than their own. It’s just the truth.
I just feel like more people would come to know Jesus from your story and a couple hours at a coffee shop than from two men standing behind podiums and talking about what they believe, and very probably arguing with each other about something that grows from the heart and not the brain.
I’m not going to try and convince anyone that God is real and sent his son as propitiation for their sins because I can’t do that. God can and will do the convincing, if and when people are open to him.
All I can tell you is that I believe, and why.
It’s because I spent most of my adult life thinking I was more or less alone in the world. That my brokenness (which existed in every possible way) was what made me who I was, and how I identified. It was the cause for my many and various addictions over the course of my life, which also lent me my only value to the world–which was as a consumer of lots of things that were very bad for me. What difference did it make, after all? My parents were both dead by the time I was 18. A good friend had killed himself less than a quarter mile from my bedroom. And I more or less had no idea at all how to be an adult–a man.
Yet even then a very dim light shone into my life in the form of friends who believed–in God and in me–when I clearly did not myself. They never really preached to me, but also never gave up on me. And that light that shone into my life began to brighten. I began to see myself as my friends saw me. And eventually, as God saw me. That is what finally did the convincing.
And so it came to pass that in 2000, when I was 32, I arrived at a place where I knew something had to change or I was going to eventually die. It might be slow, but it was going to happen. I was at what an addict (which I was, to many things) might call the bottom. I cried out to God because it felt like he was the only one left who might listen to me, or care what I say.
I found out that was true. Over time, he began to repair the broken places in me and my life. Healing became more than the abstract that God himself used to be. It’s hard to explain the details, because they did not happen all at once. It was really more like learning how to walk. I staggered at first. I took small steps, and I fell down all the time.
There was now a hand–hands, really–that reached down to help me up. I realized that I wasn’t alone, and never had been. The well of darkness down the center of me had been replaced with light.
I believe in God, and in Jesus, because of the way I feel now versus the way I felt before. It’s as simple as that, for me. There’s a Lecrae song called “Tell The World” where he says, you cleaned up my soul and left me life so brand new, and that’s all that matters.”
That’s really how it is for me. It’s really something to make something as gross and dirty as I was feel clean. That feeling convinced me, not a debate I had with anyone, or that I heard.
So I don’t know if anyone will “win” this debate today.
I just want to tell you that your story is waiting to be heard. Tell it.