Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Make sure you're answering the question that is being asked

Several weeks ago the bookkeeper at my church went on vacation. At the hotel she received a complimentary USA Today newspaper and came across this article. The article is certainly sad, but it is quite helpful. It really is worth your 5 minutes.

The gist of the article is this: in a religion class, college students create and present their own religions. Most of the religions created were nothing more than individualistic, atheistic, relativistic attempts to be free from authority. That was sad. But the article was quite helpful in revealing some of the questions and idols people are truly seeking.

Christianity as the true religion does deal with the real questions people are asking. And as Christians, we need to be aware what questions people are actually asking. We are notorious for trying to answer the wrong question. For instance, in the 80's, Evangelism Explosion's question "What would you say if God asked you 'Why should I let you into heaven?'" was appropriate and effective.

But heaven, as evidenced by this article, is not even on the radar of college students. Thus this is not the approach to take with them. If their idol is freedom and autonomy, we need to ask questions like "Is anyone really self-made" and "Is it really freedom when you are enslaved to doing your own will all the time?" The goal is to take their questions, expose their false answers, and point them to the true answer: Christ. Jesus is the one who sets us free, and we can feel unbelievable freedom in living without shame, guilt, fear within the parameters he sets in His word. That's freedom, not slavery to whatever someone else has determined is cool or kosher.

Now it may happen that someone's main question is What happens when we die, or how can Christianity be true when Evolution says it isn't? But these, with some exceptions of course, are NOT the questions my generation is asking. So trying answering them and trying to prove evolution false will inevitably get you the response so what? What questions are people asking? You have to spend the time and figure out. But its not that hard. Just ask questions and listen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geoff, thought-provoking comments about the younger generation! I loved your last sentence. What questions would you recommend some of us who are "looking- forward- to- heaven- sooner- rather- than- later" should ask?