Saturday, February 20, 2010

Of Black Diamonds, Bunny Hills, and a Hindering Fear

"There is no neutral ground: every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan." -C.S. Lewis.

That was my favorite quote presented at the Worldview conference I've attended this weekend. It's been hectic, since my dad, my brother Alex, and I have been going constantly back and forth from our house to a church in a neighboring city to listen to all the messages given by the speakers for Worldview Academy, the organization that headed up the conference, but it's been SO worth it. The conference began Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and went until 9:30, when we were dismissed to go home and sleep and ready ourselves for the next day of numerous conferences. I awoke early, my clock reading 7:05, since we didn't have to leave until 8:15. Curling up on a comfortable couch, I delved into Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese when, suddenly, fifteen minutes later my dad charged down the stairs, exclaimed that we only had 20 minutes before the conferences started, meaning we had that much time to shower, dress, and complete the 15 minute drive to Nowthen, where the conferences were held. Slapping the book shut, I dashed back upstairs, vigorously shook my brother awake, and then showered and brushed my teeth probably the fastest I have ever done so in my life. Ten minutes later, we were all in my dad's Chrysler Cirrus racing into a McDonald's drive through and ordering breakfast, not having time to eat at home. *grimaces* I shouldn't have gotten a McGriddle. I should've known it would unsettle my stomach. McDonalds food always does- besides Snack Wraps and McDouble's, that is. :D Thankfully, we arrived in Nowthen at the church just in time for the first conference of the day, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But my most favorite were the 2nd and 4th sermons that day. First I'll summarize the second:

Christianity vs. Evolution
Yeah, an EXTREMELY debated and controversial subject. At the sermon, I was immensely enlightened. Christians and Atheists have debated over the origins of the universe for years, but it all comes down to two options: Will you cast your trust in the words of man or the words of God?
A well-known evolutionist wrote: "Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus' earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god (not capitalized because of the scientist's views). Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!" -Richard Bozarth.
Here are numerous things that evolutionist's believe. In life there is:

  • no God
  • no absolutes
  • no after-life
  • no angels or demons
  • no purpose/meaning
  • no miracles
  • no souls
  • no conscience
  • no mind or thought
  • no freewill or dignity

Yep, evolutionist believe it all. The one I found most surprise (more like shocking) was that they believed we have "no freewill". WHAT?!?! No freewill? So we're mindless robots, machines that don't have the abilities to make our own choices and decisions? Well, according to evolutionists, that's totally what we are. An Atheist taught a class on writing poems at a college (or school, can quite recall). But there was a problem- people have no freewill how can they make poems? We can't create anything either, since we have no mind of thought (instead, they believe we only have brains-not minds or thoughts-that respond to outside stimuli). So, the evolutionists took the next logical step by solving the problem by saying we just already have the poems "within" us. We don't "create" poems, we "have" the poems." So we have beautiful, mellifluous poems within our souls (oh, scratch that, evolutionists don't believe in souls) our brains I mean, that are just... there. We don't create them, conjure them, they're there. Okay then... *raises eyebrow skeptically* But the terrible thing is, most Christians do nothing to combat Atheists/Evolutionist's views. For some reason, there's something that holds us back, keeps us from defending our faith. What is it? Well, we all know, cause we all experience it. Fear. Fear of man rather than fear of God. During the conference, the speakers spoke about the students they taught at a campus in Texas, and how, every Wednesday, they just sent them off to neighboring cities and college campuses to evangelize and question others about their beliefs. As I listened, my heart was clutched callously by the cold hand of fear. Imagine just going out and speaking God's word to others. Telling others about Him. It's such a coveted thing, but people are hindered by the powerful impediment of fear. I am, and I felt ashamed, because in doing so, I obey our culture's message. Our culture says: Keep your faith in your church and homes- DON'T BRING IT OUT OF THOSE BOUNDARIES!!! DON'T SPREAD IT!!! KEEP YOUR FAITH TO YOURSELF!!! And that's what I do... I don't go out and tell others. I just keep it personal. I don't share the love that Jesus' gives. Why? Fear. Hindering, obstructing, impeding FEAR. And I'm ashamed of that. It's something that I have to get rid of in my life. But there's also another factor. What do you tell non-believers? Well, that leads me to the 4th conference.

"Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary questions" -Aristotle. And that's totally true. We must ask the right questions to unbelievers, and the speakers at the conference gave advice on how to question them- the four killer questions:

  • What do you mean by (blank)?
  • How do you know that to be true?
  • What difference does that make?
  • What if you are wrong about (blank)?

For example, you engage an Atheist in conversation: (this is the conversation which was played on video at the conference)

Christian: "What do you believe happens once you die?"

Atheist: "I die- the end. Everything just ends there."

Christian: "How do you know?"

Atheist: "Because that's what science says."

Christian: "But what if you're wrong?"

See? The Atheist is stuck. Now he has to think. What if he's wrong? What if you don't just die? The speakers explained that often, that's the best you can do when talking to an evolutionists: make him/her think.

Everyone has faith. Evolutionists have EXTREME faith. They must have exceeding faith to convince themselves that all the beauty and ingenuity in the designs of this earth were created by chance. That we, extraordinarily complex beings, are all simply mistakes. Imagine you're walking on a beach, and you find a computer chip in the sand. Nobody in their right mind would believe it was just created by chance. A computer chip is a complex device! Everybody would agree to that. Then what about our brains? Why are they proclaimed by evolutionists to be created "by chance" if they are so much more complex than any insignificant computer chip! It makes utterly and completely no sense!

There is no neutral ground: every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan - C. S. Lewis.

I know I already typed that quote at the beginning of this post, but it's important. Evolution and Christianity aren't compatible. Christianity fights, still fights, and will fight science... - Richard Bozarth. They're two different beliefs. Belief in man... and belief in God. As Christians, we must be have a firm Christian faith and worldview, and this these conferences really showed me how ignorant I am. Right now, if I were to be confronted with a knowledgeable atheist, I would probably be defeated in a debate. 1 Peter 3:15: "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer- I might not always be prepared to give an answer, which is why it's so important to construct a solid Christian worldview. I can't let my faith be shaken by all the people who speak out against it and challenge it. I have to be able to defend it.

One of the most memorable moments at the conference was when one of the speakers got up and spoke about a passive faith and an active faith by comparing it to the ranks of ski hills. If you're a passive Christian all your life and always stay on the bunny hills and green circles... what kind of life for Christ is that? But if you really starting thinking and acting like an active Christian, your life will be like a black diamond- but that's where you'll truly be alive. That's where the joy comes: from actively serving God. And at the end of your run, there'll be such great satisfaction and the joy as your ski instructor (God) congratulates you. But if you always stay on those uneventful green circles...

All in all, this Worldview conference was one of my favorite conferences ever. The speakers there had the skill of even the speakers at the FLY convention, which, if you've been following my blog for a while, you've seen me post about. My faith has also been encouraged from it, and I'm going to start praying that I can break through the fear that I of sharing their faith so I can lead a black diamond life. Because seriously... who wants to sit around on the bunny hill?



♥Bleah♥Briann♥ said...

The whole creation debate is by far my strongest passion. Has been for a good three years. I'm sure it was amazing. :)

Seth Skogerboe said...

Another great post, Jake. I loved the way they took Aristotle's quote. Wonder if he was a Christian.(?) Also, if you start a post with a quote from a genius like C.S.Lewis, can you ever go wrong? :D

Bekah said...

Awesome post--I LOVED the quote at the beginning. C.S. Lewis is AMAZING.

The conferences sound awesome! (Ha, I just spelled "awesome" as "alesume"...and then I almost kept writing before I was like "wait that looks wrong..." I hate it when I spell simple words completely wrong [agh, just did it again! Spelled "spell" as "tewl" do I even get that??] I am operating on four hours of sleep, so maybe that explains

Anyways, I almost went to the creation vs. evolution one, but then it turned out we were too busy--sounds like it was really cool.


♥Bleah♥Briann♥ said...

Yeah I loved it! It was incredibly surreal though...gosh. Anywho seabird was pretty amazing. I got to meet the lead singer and the bass player got both autographs. They played "Don't you know your beautiful" which was deffinetly one of my favorites. They also played resuce, which I loved.
Switchfoot ROCKED!!!!

Josh S. said...

Black diamonds are for wusses...Double black diamonds are for men! w00t w00t! :D
Great post Jake.


Jason with AFLC Youth Min said...

Great post, Jake. It was excellent to hear about the conference. I need to talk to you soon about an opportunity to write a review. I'm wondering if you are open to it. I think you'd be great based on looking at your posts.