When You’re Thinking You’re a Loser for Jesus and Feel like an April Fool

Sometimes you think you’re getting somewhere, you know, with this whole growing up in Jesus business.

You’re hitting your Bible regularly and going deep, not just the quick pass over a verse and a thought but digging in and rocking it. Your prayer life is consistent and gets more involved than “Help!” and “Please!” (Not that those words don’t feature frequently.)

They know your face at church and well, you get the point. You’re no soul slouch.

Then, whammo! You hit what is apparently a giant spiritual pothole of what was that? Continue Reading →

Ken Ham is a Fool

Why speak out when no one will listen?
Why put yourself out there if no one is likely to be persuaded
and you might risk looking like a fool?
Why go public when even other Christians are trying to hush you up
and some accuse you of doing more harm than good?
As I watched last night’s debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, which centered on the question, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era,” I asked these questions.
Ken Ham certainly has a large following but today he’s likely to be skewered in the press by masses of secularists and Christians alike.
Why put one’s self through that?
What’s the point, especially knowing the minimal likelihood of persuading Bill Nye the science guy to suddenly conclude that God created the earth in seven days?
I can think of a lot of reasons.
ONE: It’s good for people to see someone so convinced of a truth they’re willing to go this length to present it. There’s too much of “well, we can’t really know, can we” thinking going around these days. It discourages the pursuit of answers to hard questions and encourages lazy thinking.
God asks us to love Him with all our strength, heart, soul, and MIND. Healthy believers are curious about God and seek to really know and understand Him. Too many of us have settled on being soft-minded rather than rigorously pursuing the answers to hard questions.
TWO:  Asking hard questions ignites curiosity, provokes debate, drives people to think, to study, to look something up. This is good. God is the truth and we want to encourage questions that inspire others to seek Him. So much better than having someone blindly accept our answers is to spur them on to seek Him on their own.
 (I thought it was particularly interesting that as the debate went on, Bill Nye repeatedly came back to a question that wasn’t scientific in origin but spiritual and personal. He kept asking, “If your thinking is true, Mr. Ham, what happens to the billions of people who don’t believe the Bible? What is to come of them? What happens to me?” That question wasn’t about science it was about life and end of life. It’s a powerful question to ask and it was a revealing byproduct of the debate that that’s where Mr. Nye kept landing.)
THREE: It’s good for the Christians worried that Ken Ham will make it harder for Christians to be accepted and respected in modern society to see a man who clearly isn’t worried about that issue at all. We shouldn’t be. We should be concerned about being loving and speaking the truth but being accepted or respected doesn’t buy us as much traction as being empowered by the Spirit of the Living God.
Seeking the approval of society in order to have our message heard isn’t even good marketing these days. Advertisers now are more likely to be provocative and confrontational in order to get their message to go viral. More often than not, we get our place at the table by showing up, not by waiting by the mailbox for our invitation.
FOUR:  God isn’t afraid of us. Do you know that? He’s not afraid that one of us will ask a question He can’t answer nor is He worried that one of us will discover something that will reveal Him as a fraud. We represent Him well as believers if we aren’t afraid of these things either. We shouldn’t cower behind the curtains avoiding public discussion and debate like the Wizard of Oz.
There were questions both men asked last night that have me thinking today and wanting to study more and pursue more information. I think both of them, at times, sidestepped a question or two and now I want to know more. That’s a good thing.
It doesn’t rattle my faith in a living God. I trust that He’ll be behind every answer I find and pursuing the answers is one way of expressing my love for Him.
If my husband stops being curious about me or decides one day he already knows all he needs to know about me, that will be a sad day when I’ll be worried our love has grown cold. It’s the same in our relationship with Jesus. We should always be pursuing a deeper understanding of God – He’s infinite, complex, beautiful, amazing, and many-faceted. Presenting debates like the one last night motivates people to explore Him and that is powerful because many of them will encounter the truth.
In the book of Acts, Stephen makes an amazing speech, testifying to the truth of Jesus Christ. At the end of that speech, they stoned him to death.
The writer, though, notes that Saul was holding the coats of those who threw the stones. He heard Stephen’s testimony and witnessed his martyrdom. He probably thought Stephen was fool.
His initial response was to persecute others who believed like Stephen so at first, it would look as though Stephen testified in vain.
But later in His life, Saul encountered Jesus and became St. Paul, one of the leaders of the Body of Christ. I imagine that after his conversion, Paul reflected back on Stephen’s speech and it bore fruit in him at the proper time.
Paul, too, became a fool for God. I believe there’s no higher vocation.
We stand up and speak because it’s our calling to bear witness to the truth and it’s an act of love for our Lord and for those who embrace the lies of this age.
God will never let this work be in vain whether it happens on a live-streamed debate podium or over a lunch table at the office, in a letter to the editor of a small town paper or on a Hollywood film screen.
Find your voice, loved ones.
Find your courage, in Christ.
Stand up and testify to the truth you know and if you don’t know much truth – pursue it – it will fuel your courage to find it.

Is Ken Ham a fool? I aspire to be such a fool as he.

How about you? Come be a fool, as well.