I read several articles today about intelligent, educated, well traveled people who really want nothing to do with God. They weren't necessarily part of the hateful anti-god crowd we usually see in the media, but they were just woefully, sadly, heartbreakingly ignorant of who God is. On top of that, they don't want to hear anything more about it. They are worn out with the discussions and have closed their minds and hearts to the whole thing.
So many people base their lives and eternal destinations on wrong assumptions of who God is and what sort of a being He is. If they think of Him at all they think He's brutal and cruel and unjust and they want nothing to do with such a God. Who can blame them? They have no concept of the One True God except what they've been sold by the big media, Hollywood, pop culture and other sources who are basically hostile towards God. Little bits and pieces from any old source are cobbled together by under-informed people to produce a bloody and vengeful god. When they find a Christian to ask it's usually one of the ones I call "Jerry Springer Christians" who let their mouths run way ahead of their intellect.
These people don't dig and do research until they think it's worth their effort. Those who are sincerely interested and seeking a Christian source to inquire of, are often stuck listening to people who are just as ignorant of who He is as anyone outside Christianity. They watch some of the ridiculous displays by these unlearned Christians and then begin to formulate their ideas about God and Christianity based on that. Once they've been exposed to what the world offers about God, and, sadly, what the bulk of the Christians have to say, they don't really care to search any further. They reason that their initial concepts of God must be true... a God like that is not for them.
"Well, if they wanted to know they'd ask a pastor, not just any ol' body!" Oh, you think just because a guy has "Pastor" before his name that he's got it all right? I don't care if it's Pastor or Pope, ANYONE can mislead others. Some do ask pastors about things they don't understand. Often, I'd say usually, either they don't have a decent answer, they offer a wrong answer, or they become arrogant or condescending, or even hateful sounding in their response.
Why would we we expect these people to behave any differently or be open to us? Christians are doing the same thing! Christians have some ridiculous ideas of who God is. We've taken the word of other confused people, well-intentioned or not, and created our God in that image. STOP IT! LEARN for yourself! IF God is real, then isn't it far, far too important to leave the research to anyone else? Christians-- YOU need to know your God! For Him! For yourself! For your witness! We don't need to know what the movies say about God, not what mama said about God, not what pastor says about God. We need to know God. Then, lift HIM up. HIM! Not your doctrinal points. People don't need highlights of your superior intellect or your deep understanding. They need Jesus.
Now, I realize some so-called interested parties are really only asking questions in order to start an argument, but we really shouldn't let them drag us down to that level. Recognize that for what it is and walk away. However, for sincere questions, we, of all people, should have some real answers or at least the common sense to simply say, "I don't know. Let me try to learn the answer to that and get back to you." Unfortunately, many will say any old ignorant thing in order to not look stupid. It doesn't work. They already know you don't know everything. All you are doing now is providing the fuel in which they will burn your argument and giving them ammunition to aim at the rest of Christianity..
You can't show Him to anyone if you can't see Him yourself. You can't see Him if you are constantly bolstering your own argument. You won't search for Him if you feel you have arrived. You haven't. Keep seeking Him. You might even be right about a lot of things, but, if you always feel the need to prove it, then you need to press into Him a little closer. The closer you are to Him, the more He "shows" in you-- the Light that shines. Then you'll see there's no need for all the arrogant and combative behavior.
Then, PLEASE stop running your mouth until you know what to say! So many people are headed for eternal damnation and all you want to do is trade blows with one another about petty doctrinal points! Nothing like muddying the water for the whole world see. There are people watching that are just waiting to see this kind of thing and use it against us. Most importantly, they are being repelled by your clever arguments and heading for an eternity without God because of you and your need to be heard and proven right.
Are Christians not supposed to be known for their love for one another? We are supposed to be the salt and the light, and yet when I look at a crowd I generally can't tell the Christians from the rest world except they fuss amongst themselves more than most. Sickening.
YOU-- KEEP seeking HIM! It will change, fulfill and complete you. When you reflect Him the world will run to you!
Ending on a positive note: there is ALWAYS hope. People close their minds and hearts all the time because of hurts, misunderstandings, ignorance, weariness and countless other reasons, but the Holy Spirit can still reach in. Please, don't make His job more difficult by helping to harden the walls people erect.