Monday, April 03, 2017

Discussions on faith

In the past few weeks I have had several conversations (with different people) about eternity and eternal life. Some of the conversations were with people that believe as I do and others were with people that have somewhat similar beliefs but with some significant differences, and some with different beliefs.

I'm glad that people are open to such conversations and was surprised that most of these conversations were not started by me, but the topic of eternal life and religious beliefs were introduced by them.

In spite of our discomfort in sharing our faith with our unbelieving friends, statistics show that most people are willing to discuss religion and often even welcome such discussions. I should say that I'm thankful that people feel comfortable enough with me to bring me their questions about faith and ask for my thoughts and opinions on eternal matters. The unfortunate truth is that I should be the one bring up the topic more often than I do.

I am not one to be a hell-fire and brimstone type of preacher, but it should be clear that I do believe in hell and its eternal torment for the souls of the damned. I once had an unbelieving coworker tell me that he could talk to me because "I get it."
When I asked him what he meant by that, he said that other Christians are always telling him he's going to hell and he can't talk to them.
I made it clear to him that I also believed that without proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior--he was going to hell, but I never want to get to the point that he feels he can't talk to me.

Maybe that's part of the key.
I realize that it is not my place to be condemning about their decisions of what to believe or not believe. I would love for them to believe as I do, but I do not get the privilege of choosing for them. If God loves us and is good with free will, why should I feel like I have to bludgeon people into choosing one way or the other?
I believe strongly in what I believe and will share it with passion. I should expect others to have the right to do the same. I don't always expect to change someone's thoughts but I would like to give them something new to consider.

How do you feel about discussions on faith?
Are you open to sharing what you believe?
Are you open to listening to what others believe?

God loves you.
Jesus died for you.

John <><


Kevin Gilmore said...

My faith walk has been a winding, twisting road, especially these past 5 years. I've read through the Bible 7 times cover to cover and I'm at the point now where I'd rather not do that again. Each time I do I seem to come away with more questions than answers and that's not what I want.

I used to believe in hell but I no longer do. I was pondering why that is the other day and I concluded that I've seen too many sweet Muslim families in my day to day activities and I can't for a moment believe that God will damn them to a life of torment because they were born into a belief system different than mine -- a belief system so engrained in them that they are no more likely to become Christian than you or I are to become Muslim.

All I'm certain of is that I'm not certain of much anymore. I believe that when I die I will find that what I believe in and what is real will be entirely different, and that goes for the most fundamentalist Christian as well. I think we will all be surprised by how off the mark we are. It's just what I feel, and of course I could be entirely wrong.

John Hill said...

Because of the great diversity in afterlife beliefs, it is easy to see that we cannot all be right.
We rarely consider that we could all be wrong.