I am all wired up from evangelizing on the Rose Parade route tonight, its something the folks at my church have been doing for almost 10 years now. People camp outside and we just set up a table to engage in evangelistic conversation. Believe it or not there are still people who are willing to stop and listen and hear the Gospel. We need to pray for those opportunities and present the Gospel clearly and faithfully with both passion and compassion.
Contrary to the theme of the blog, in my evangelism these days I rarely go on apologetics’ rabbit trail when I share the Gospel. Most of the time I focus on the Gospel being understood by the person I’m talking to. I am a Presuppositionalist in my apologetics but I think even some within my own camp of apologetics can forget the self-evidencing power of the Gospel.
Tonight I did have someone looking for trouble that came to our evangelism table. In person, I can tolerate quite a bit of personal attacks on myself; but I have a harder time when someone attack one of my brothers or sisters in the faith who was trying to honestly and humbly share the Gospel to the individual. Something just irks me. Most of the time I find that a gentle answer does turn away a lot of wrath but once in a while you have a young hammerhead that just wants to bully Christians. They assume gentleness is a sign of weakness. They just love to belittle Christians and show themselves to be morally and intellectually superior than those who are talking to them. Pharisees are non-denominational and exists in many worldview camps. So when a Christian brother gets picked on I just have to have to enter the conversation.
The guy said so many crazy stuff. But one that caught my attention was when he said Jesus Christ was not God. Sometimes as you let people talk more they give you the ropes to hang themselves in terms of the rationality of their belief system. It turns out as he talked more and more he was a pantheist. He stated several times “God is everything” and that “everything is God.” Think about it for a moment. He believes God is everything. But he believes the real Jesus that exists…is not God. You would think if Jesus is a part of everything, and if everything is God that this pantheist would be forced by his own false premises to say that Jesus must be God.
He also kept on saying that I was not speaking the truth about God and I was not “of God.” He really despised the Bible and said that was not God’s Word.
A light went on in my head and I asked if I can record our conversation for educational purposes. He stopped and stuttered and said no. I said I will respect that. But here’s the conversation:
I asked “Hey, why aren’t you listening to God?”
He said “What are you talking about? I listen to God’s personal revelation to me!”
I replied, “Oh, then why are you arguing against God after all you believe I am God?”
With a look of confusion, he asked “Huh?”
“For the sake of the argument,” I said, “if you said everything is God and God is everything, then I’m God. Why aren’t you listening to me when I say that Jesus is God and He came to die for our sins?”
With anger he said “But you are not God.”
For clarity’s sake I said, “Yes, I would agree with you I am not God. My Christian worldview dictate that I must not believe that I am God. But I’m going by your own beliefs. You said everything is God and God is everything. Therefore I am God according to your beliefs so why are you not listening to God?”
“But you are not everything.”
“I never said I was everything. What do you mean by ‘everything’ anyways?”
He answered “Everything refers to all of God’s creation.”
“I agree,” I replied. “But am I not a subset of God’s creation?”
Here he pauses.
I picked it up because now the fire is glowing hot: “So if I am a part of everything, that is, God’s creation, and everything is God, that means I am God. Again why are you not listening to me when I say to you that Jesus is the Savior of sinners and Jesus Christ is God? Do you realize that there is a contradiction in your worldview?”
Again there is only silence.
“More importantly you said that all objects are also God, yet you deny the Bible is God’s Word and is true and yet according to your belief if everything is God, that includes the Bible is God. Why then do you not believe the Bible is God’s Word to be true when the implication of your own beliefs is that the Bible is actually not just His Word but IS GOD Himself? Again, why are you not listening to God? Your worldview is absurd and in actually you don’t fully believe it either since you still presuppose things that only make sense in my worldview which you actually assumed to be true; things like your mention of ‘creation” and in a moment when you had a revealing Freudian slip you said to me that I am not God which reveal the doctrine of Creator/Creature distinction is what you truly believe and not your profession of pantheism. God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 1 is right when God says the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
He smiled at the last part but his silence allowed me to get back to the beeline of sharing the Gospel. To be charitable I did offer him the last say.
It was only when I got back home did it occur to me how ironic the whole conversation was at a more basic and fundamental level: Here’s a guy who says everything is God but then contradicts himself immediately when he said Jesus is not God.