Sometimes, I look at myself and I cannot believe it.
As much as I have been a Christian for a decade already, I have never actually properly evangelised to someone. I have never had a serious conversation with someone about my faith and why I firmly believe that it is rational, historical and compelling. Maybe because most of my friends were Christians and I was in my own comfort zone, or maybe because I was afraid of how they would perceive an out-of-this-world doctrine. And partly because the only people who ever approached me about such a topic were those who wanted to disprove my beliefs; they were not willing to listen, only desperate to prove their point.
That was, until now. I stayed up until 1.30am talking to a friend about it. I have never known so much courage and enthusiasm come out from me when talking to a non-Christian. And I ask God ‘Where did this come from? This is a whole new experience for me!’ Nevertheless, through much reflection and conversation, I see that Christianity can be presented in a rational and worldly way. It is about human weakness, morality, grace, mercy and love – all of which are evident in this world today!
So last night, I sat with her, going through the bible study journal on Mark. And I looked at her and asked, ‘If you knew that God existed, what is the one question you would ask?’
Even though she could not pinpoint one specific answer, I on the other hand had a whirlwind of questions.
1. Christianity is a story of love, mercy and grace, but how can I bring this gospel to a world that accepts homosexuality? The world says that to accept homosexuals is to love, but the bible firmly refutes that. Surely, even if people take a step towards believing in God because of Jesus’ sacrifice and all that, what if they take a step back because the gospel of love states that homosexuality is a sin?
I believe that we are not biologically made to have sexual relations with people of the same gender. Crudely, there is not ‘fit’. Yet, there is the argument that people are ‘born’ with this. From young, they claim to have been aware of the sexual inclinations. Of course, I don’t believe this either because of the common phrase ‘I think therefore I am’ – with the surge of confessions of being gay, those who have the slightest inkling that they might be gay, will now most likely convince themselves that they are.
BUT the problem still presses! What do I do? People have struggled so long with this issue and I want to know the answer!
Here are just a few points I have thought of, but they come with even more counter-arguments:
– Hate the sin, love the sinner. We accept and love the person, but not their sin. However, this begs the question of how we can separate a person from their gender orientation. To hate the sin of homosexuality, is to think the same of the person who holds these inclinations, right?
– If you truly believe that God is real, then the commandments and rules He has laid down are in truth. Yes, very true, but people have to first deal with this notion of homosexuality as a sin because they decide that they want to believe in such a God!
2. The second other question is about determinism versus free will.
If everything has been pre-determined, then there cannot be such a thing as free will. If God knows what we are going to do, then where does free will fit in?
However, the more I thought about it, the more it became clearer. I think pre-determinism should be viewed in the sense that God knows what we are going to do next, and not God controls what we are going to do next. He says He formed us in our mother’s womb, He knows our innermost being – He knows us so well. To put a moderately-strong analogy forward, it is like a father and a toddler. God is the father because He knows a lot more than we do and we are the toddlers because we are finite in our understanding. The father will most likely know what the child will do next. We are predictable because the the Father knows us inside out. Just as I know how my baby brother would react to something, the Father knows us way more than that.
Also, Ravi Zacharias made a very, very point and he turned the argument around. If everything we say has been pre-determined, and pre-wired to think the way we do, is this very claim a truth claim?
‘The moment we make a truth claim, we are violating determinism.’