Thoughts on the Way Home

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More about Christ, Less about You

During Saturday bible study last weekend a brother shared something about being a witness to the truth that I thought was very helpful, straightforward, and profound.

Suppose someone asks you "Why do you believe what you believe?" What would your answer be?

His point was that while it's not wrong to appeal to supernatural experiences you may have had at your conversion, it is usually more appropriate to appeal to the glory of God that is continually day by day before your eyes, as revealed by God himself. The difference is that one approach means allowing supernatural experiences to teach you what is and isn’t true, whereas the other means accepting the totally self-evident and self-attesting truth that you now see after God opened your eyes.

The problem with the first approach is that it could be understood to mean that unless or until a person has a grand experience, there is really no legitimate reason for them to believe the bible. And suppose some Mormon claims to have a much grander experience than your own. What then?

The second approach however is based on having your eyes open to see what is true, and right in front of you. You know something is glorious because it shines. So then what would be helpful for the other person to hear is all of the glorious things about Christ that you have been learning, and all of the powerful truth of the gospel and the kingdom of God that has gripped you since the day of your conversion and continues to grip you to this day. So what's probably more important is your ongoing testimony and belief in God, and not so much initial experiences.

After all, let's face it; not everyone has the same experiences at conversion. And if it's the experience that matters most, then only people rivaling the apostle Paul with his Damascus Road experience would really be worth listening to. But we know that’s not right, because the message itself has weight and glory. After all, did not Jesus say, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” We can share the truth no matter how inconsequential our experiences may seem.

(Not to mention there is a real danger of casting pearls before swine in this kind of situation.)

Suffice it to say that people usually need to hear more about the glory of God in the face of Christ, and not as much about your own experiences. . . . more about Christ, less about you . . .