John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
I had an interesting conversation with an old acquaintance, who was raised as a Pastor’s kid but turned from the faith. We talked for hours on faith and he stated that even though he was not a “born again” believer in Jesus Christ being sent as an atoning sacrifice for the remission of sin unto eternal life, he considered himself a “Christian” because he was a “Follower” of the teaching of Jesus. That the moral lifestyle that Jesus preached and lived out in true love within boundaries was the compass and guide by which he said provided the pattern civil peace and community, but rejected that Jesus was the Savior of the world (died for our sins) and not God, but a good man.
John 10:30 “I and My Father are one.”
I listened to his reasoning and looked for areas of biblical agreement, asked for his thoughts and opinions on various Christian Theological issue to see where he was coming from in his views, where he got those analysis and where he was going with his conclusions. But, at the same time, along the way I interjected missing pieces of the Bible truths that were excluded in his explanation for further examination and open discussion. I was not going to change his mind (the Holy Spirit had to do that), as He had made a determined choice, but he knew that I believed what he did not and was willing to answer my probing questions and hear my points and interpretation, so we talked. His main focus was in the here and now … the out of control, morally corrupt culture, society and world. He believed that there was a God because he experienced spirituality and could not deny it, but to what extent and Who is this God?
1 Peter 4:1-6 “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”
It was obviously a scaled down version that did not include a Creator because he completely believed in the theory of Darwinian Macro-Evolution. Yet, seeing the incredible complexity of life and life-systems, did not believe in irreducible complexity (verified by ex-Evolutionist Scientist). He based his belief upon the fact that these things exist, so must have evolved over time and chance. How do you come to such an quick and easy conclusion? Because acknowledgement of such design means the existence of a Designer and would collapse of the theory, and his belief system. He stated that Christian Creationist deny Macro-Evolution "life from non-life"and "one species from another species" facts (which no Macro-Evolution has ever been observed in all of history or science), but would not acknowledge that Darwinian Evolutionists deny observable Intelligent Design in nature and the Cosmos that points to a Creator God. I pointed some out examples out. He knew the gospel message; he was a pastor’s son, but did not see or understand the original intent of many biblical teachings and rejected Jesus Christ as Savior. Neither of us were trying to win this open apologetic discussion. Hopefully seeds were planted and a spark was fanned in this Divine Appointment; that as he checked into this discussion points covered further, that may be the foot in the door for the Holy Spirit and other (not just Followers of the “good man” Jesus, but) “Born Again” Christians may lead this sinner loved by God to a “saving” knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
C.S. Lewis wrote: I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was,
and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. - Mere Christianity .
Speak the Truth in Love; In Christ, Brian