Now one thing I will tell you is that when I am writing, I take full advantage of back spacing, spell check and the luxury of editing.
As we know.....this isn't the case with conversations.
I sometimes have a hard time articulating what is going on in my head and getting it delivered out of my mouth without it sounding like that Charlie Brown teacher or worse.....coming out completely wrong and either dumbing myself down or sending the wrong message.
For example.......the theory that we all evolved randomly from the same amoeba is one of my "hot issues" that gets me riled up. I have this great DVD called From a Frog to a Prince where creation scientists explain so clearly how the evolution theory cannot simply hold true. They show how the air chamber of a bird could never have been "evolved" from a reptile's air chamber, even with the teeny changes over time as they propose, without the creature going extinct due to them having completely different air flow mechanisms/directions. Or something like that. You see.....I'm not too good at explaining it, but I know what I know and I believe what I believe.
So here is the situation.
I have a friend who is a wonderful person.....she believes in God, in the sense that He exists and acknowledges that Jesus also is real.......but she also believes that there are other ways for people to get to Heaven such as Buddhism, for example. We have a great relationship where we respect each other's beliefs......I don't go over to her house throwing my Bible down her throat and she doesn't wrestle me to the ground to a lotus position to meditate. We're cool like that.
anyway......I was at her house the other day with a group of people. I think we got on the subject of God as a spin off of camping as I was talking about our Soulfest experiences. So a bunch of us were kinda chit chatting and I was saying how awesome it is that we can spread the Good News in so many different ways with events, organizations, media, etc.
So this friend waited for a pause and then pitched this question to me......in a kind, but with a teeny bit of confrontation, sort of way:
"So I have to ask you this....If you believe that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ......what about all the people, say in Africa who do not even know about Him? Are they not worthy of being accepted into The Kingdom due to their ignorance? Or what about all the people who sacrifice everything and serve others all their life but are Buddhist, they won't be allowed?.....I can't fathom your God closing the doors on them. That is the problem I have with your Christian belief"
So at first I am a little taken back as it kinda came out of no-where. Thankfully this one guy, who is studying ministry stuff at his church, had all hard core answers that even referenced specific dates/events such as who was ruling the Mesopotamia region in 817 AD and how that affected Christianity
So she cut him off and turned to me....."Michelle, what do you think?"
So, taking all my
"Well I believe what I believe, and I choose to live my life using the Bible as The Word, The Truth.....and I know what the Bible tells me. It tells me that the only way to the Kingdom is through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only."
At this point I am wishing I had one of those fancy iPhones with Internet access so I could jump on BibleGateway and rattle off a few Scriptures.......but alas.....no such luck.
So I just blurted this out......
"I know there is Scripture to back this up, but the Bible speaks about how good works is not the way to Heaven...."
She cut me off.
"But what about those oppressed people in Africa then...what about them? What if no missionary reaches them and teaches them about Jesus? Then what? So they go to Hell?" Now, she was getting a little emotional (in a good way)
I didn't have an answer at the time......I just simply said...
"look, Cindy (not her real name)....all I can say is this. I care about you alot. I try to love everyone (for the most part....keepin' it real!). And I believe it is my job, as a Believer, to share what I believe and bring others to Christ. OK, think of it as an awesome piece of Death By Chocolate dessert. It is so delicious and because there is an endless supply you just want to share it with everyone you love.
(Hopefully God can forgive me for comparing Him to a dessert, nevermind with the word "death" in it)
So I just went on to say "I don't claim to know all the answers, I am just doing the best I can and trying to live the life that Jesus wants me to. I am sure God has a "back up plan" for those who do not know Hiim.....I would imagine that if they do not know Him, then how can they deny Him?"
I had no clue on what to say....so I decided to wrap it up and fake that I had a text message from Josh (even though I don't even use texting) and needed to blast outta there.
My closing statement was this:
"So, this is what I believe....and I have nothing to lose and all to gain by living my life for Jesus and these principles. If I am wrong,.....I lose nothing. I still am living a life full of blessings and filled with joy and love in my heart. But I just want to say.....what if you are wrong? What then?"
So it got me to thinking.......I would really like to have another one-on-one with her and have some more insight on what she wants to know. I would love to have just the right thing to share so that it might prompt her to consider searching more in the Bible for answers, rather than her spiritual self help books or inner preparation guides to peace.
So I'd love to ask a favor of my friends.....can you take a few minutes and share some of your input on this? And if you have Scripture that supports what is on your heart, please include that.
I'd love to show her in the Bible, in a loving, not thumping-her-on-the-head kinda way. ;)
Thanks in advance~