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BUT if you were born…

27 Mar

…a Hindu, a Muslim, or in an atheistic family or if you were born in India, Saudi Arabia, or Indonesia it is most likely you would not be a Christian or think that the Bible was true.

This was an argument presented to me a little while ago as I posted comments on another website by a person who had deconverted from Christianity. She wanted me to see that if I was not born in the family I was I would have a different view of the gospel and the Bible.  It is a ‘what if’ scenario that means nothing because it did not happen and even if it were probable, she still did not see the bigger picture of God and what he can do with people’s lives.

Here is another quote from Richard Stearns book, The Hole In The Gospel, found on pages 70-71:

After a while I asked him, ‘pastor, living in a country  that is more than 90 percent Buddhist, how did you come to be a Christian?’ The story he told me was a confirmation of the power of the whole gospel in action.

‘Five years ago,’ he said, ‘ World Vision came to our community and began to work. i was suspicious of those outsiders to our community and was convinced that they had their own hidden agenda. You see, in Cambodia, since the genocide by the Khmer Rouge, we are always distrustful of strangers. But these from World Vision (also Cambodians) set up a TB clinic to care for those suffering from TB. They improved the schools our children attended, and they taught better agricultural methods to the farmers to improve our yields. But I was still suspicious and even angry , convinced that they were up to no good. Why would these strangers help us? I thought.

‘One day I confronted them, and I went to the World Vision leader and demanded to know why they were here. His answer took me by surprise. He said, We are followers of Jesus Christ and we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are here to show you that God loves you.”

What the person I was discussing with missed was two things. First, she was under the assumption that just because someone was born into a Christian family, or ‘nation’ and was raised in the church, that they were automatically  Christian. She did not realize that no one is born a believer and that every child born into a Christian family must make that decision to accept Christ as their savior and be born again.

She thought that being taught the Bible by parents or Sunday school teachers, made one accept the Bible as inerrant, God’s word, and that the Christian church was the only church that held the truth. The reality of this is that is just not so.  Again,l having such instruction does not make the child accept such truths about God, the Bible and the truth. Again they must realize these teachings are right and accept them as such.

Being born in a Christian environment doe snot remove the necessity of needing a savior like those who live in those countries whose national religion is vastly different from Christianity.

The second thing she missed was the work of missionaries, the HS and the power of God’s word. Being born into a non-Christian environment doe snot mean that God cannot reach a person and save them from their sins. Being born into a different family does not negate the reality of that person becoming a believer in Christ and accept the Bible as the truth.

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.(Ps 139:13 NASB)

You see God already knew whom he wanted to save even before they were born thus where one is born does not play a real part in their coming to salvation.  God will send someone to them, while preparing their hearts to accept the gospel message and repent of their sins. Even though I am not a fan of World Vision right now, God uses different organizations and gets them to go where he wants them to be thus even if a believing westerner was born into a different culture, God would still ensure their salvation.

The argument presented to me become merely an excuse to for the presenter to not believe.  They try to convince themselves that God cannot work in people’s lives and that our beliefs are due to our human situation and NOT the power of the gospel and the working of the Jesus and the HS. It is an erroneous argument because it holds no validity and denies God sovereignty over the world. It tries to make situations greater than God.

Then to change topics a bit here, as I was writing that quote, it struck as odd how so many westerners move into 3rd world and other less fortunate countries and set up hospitals, clinics, work to improve schools and farming, plus feel that that is normal and not odd yet refuse to do the same thing in their own countries for their own less fortunate people.

We do not hear of many organizations, if there are any, moving into ghettos and working to improve the health situation there or the scholastic environment. Most of the time I hear of people complaining about how bad things are and demand that the government do something. But such people are naive as the government is secular and not working with God thus any ‘reform’ they might bring will be more of the same instead of truly life changing.

I remember seeing in the streets of LA where churches go in once a week, serve some food, preach a message then disappear and leave those people in their dire straits thinking they will find their own way out again. We do not do that on the international mission field so why are we doing it at home? Why are we abandoning our own country man while doing everything we can to ‘save’ those who do not have the amenities found in western society?

I am not knocking or criticizing those who do the international work and really roll up their sleeves remaining to help those people overcome their troubles, I am questioning why we do not apply the same attitude and work ethic to our poor and oppressed. A quick search tells me that approx. ‘40% of Americans are functionally illiterate’ and ‘1 in 6 people struggle with hunger’ I hate to see what those figures are for the rest of the western world.

We have a serious problem and the governments have proven that they cannot fix them. Time for the church to put God’s word into action and start following ‘love they neighbor’ at home first before heading overseas. The church does not need the government to work in solving problems, they need to remove sin from their lives and partner with God., just like they do for the international mission field. There is nothing stopping a believer from signing up to fill educational voids and actually teach their subjects so the students get the best material to learn from.

We do not need teachers preaching the gospel to their classrooms, we need them living it by following God’s lead to educate them correctly and live their lives in a manner that reflects Christ. Too many school shave problems with secular teachers who are ‘off’ in some way. We do not need to add to those problems but help relieve them.

There are ways to make a difference.

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10 responses to “BUT if you were born…

  1. ladysunami

    March 27, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Cute, but no. I was not “under the assumption that just because someone was born into a Christian family, or ‘nation’ and was raised in the church, that they were automatically Christian.” I made it absolutely clear I was talking about you and you alone.

     
  2. theologyarchaeology

    March 27, 2015 at 9:38 am

    but again you would be wrong

     
    • ladysunami

      March 27, 2015 at 10:21 am

      And you deleted my quotes and links to our actual conversation. Classy. Better then deleting my comment outright I suppose.
      (If wordpress is just showing it weird and the rest isn’t deleted, I apologize.)

       
      • theologyarchaeology

        March 27, 2015 at 10:28 am

        it happens. I edit on this board . I left the important part up so you could get your point across without taking up a lot of space

         
        • ladysunami

          March 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm

          Fair enough, it was a rather long conversation I quoted.

          I still maintain that if you had been raised any other faith while still being of the opinion that you already have the truth and so do not require open mindedness you would never end up converted to Christianity. People are only converted by missionaries when they actually listen to them and consider their words.

          You have stated that you do not need to be open minded because you have the truth. This puts you in exactly the same boat as every person of any faith who refuses conversion based on the same principles. Those who are in error but refuse to listen to anyone else will never realize they are mistaken and so cannot gain the truth.

          I don’t appreciate you making it out like I declared conversion impossible when I was actually pointing out the hypocrisy of expecting open mindedness from others while refusing to be open minded yourself. For someone who objects so strongly to other people “twisting your words” you seem perfectly comfortable with completely misrepresenting mine.

           
          • theologyarchaeology

            March 28, 2015 at 6:30 am

            Again you would be in error. What if I were already questioning what i was taught in that ‘other family’ or ‘faith’? Then you make salvation out to be a human effort when it is only a divine one. You do not understand how God works in people’s lives.

            Also, you do not understand the context of my words and how God taught me over the years. I do NOT have toy keep reassessing my faith because every non-Christian Tom, dick And Harry present their false ideas. I have the truth and do not need to listen to those who do not believe anymore.

            No it doesn’t put me in the same boat, it puts me in the boat containing the truth while the rest are in a different boat, filled with lies and false teaching.

            i am not in error, but the people in the other faiths are. there is a difference. It is not being hypocritical to demand that others be open-minded because when one has the truth, they do not need to question or examine other points of views any more. we are already in the life boat, not still in the water struggling against a strong current.

            I haven’t misrepresented yours. You do not understand what faith is all about nor how spiritual things work.

             
        • ladysunami

          March 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm

          And you are still ignoring my point, even now! What is all this, “What if I were already questioning what i was taught in that ‘other family’ or ‘faith’?” nonsense. If you were already questioning then you would be already be open minded to change.

          I keep telling you over and over that if you were of another faith and still of the opinion you do not need to be open minded then you would never be converted to Christianity. The part about you not being open minded is key, yet every time I say this you completely skip over my point about open mindedness and pretend like I’ve said no one is converted ever. Stop doing that. I am telling you that open mindedness is a necessary component of conversion.

          People are converted all the time. Those people are open minded. Their open mindedness is what allows them to change. If they were not open minded they would not question their old beliefs and would not accept new ones. How many other ways do I have to word this point until you get it? Open mindedness is a necessary component of conversion.

          Every single time myself or anyone else tries to get you to consider other points of view you say you don’t need to because you “already have the truth” and so “don’t need to be open minded.” This perspective would completely ruin any chances of you becoming Christian if you were not Christian already. Do you understand this yet? If someone does’t already believe something and they refuse to open their mind to the possibility of it, they will never be convinced. Never. Why? Because open mindedness is a necessary component of conversion.

          Anyone who refuses to be open minded will not change their beliefs because open mindedness is a necessary component of conversion. You are not open minded, therefore you would not be converted. Get it?

           
          • theologyarchaeology

            March 29, 2015 at 3:27 am

            lady you miss the point completely and I am done talking about this topic. you think everything works according to how you view it and you would be in error

            I do not care about ‘what ifs’ because those are not the reality and mean nothing. you do not know what would happen and guess what, it doesn’t matter if a person has a closed mind because God works through different ways.

            you and your buddies do not have the truth, I do not have to open my mind to your false ideas.

             
        • ladysunami

          March 29, 2015 at 8:53 am

          I am not missing any point. You are ignoring my point, most likely because you are incapable of dealing with it. I do know what would happen because it is happening right here and right now in front of me. You are not open minded and so no one is capable of convincing you of anything. (I can’t even convince you that you cannot be convinced!)

          The only hypothetical portion of the scenario I proposed is making you the person of another faith. The scenario is reality. It is reality for every close minded person of every faith other then your own. Yes there are Hindu people who are open minded and can be converted to Christianity, like Ravi’s great-great-great-grandmother, but there are also Hindu people like yourself who believe totally and completely with absolutely no doubts that they have the one and only truth. Their faith is not a lie and they will no more be converted to Christianity then you will be converted to Hinduism.

          To me, as someone who shares neither of your faiths, you and the committed Hindu look exactly the same.

          I won’t grace this blog post of yours with my presence any longer, nor will I return to this blog… as long as I am not informed of other posts where you misrepresent my arguments.

           
          • theologyarchaeology

            March 29, 2015 at 9:45 am

            of course you cannot convince me, you do not have the truth and that is the key. i have not ignored your point, you are upset because you cannot ruin the faith of someone who believes the Bible and God.

            i do not care if there are Hindu people like me, they are still wrong, because they have been deceived. i have not been and i know this for a fact.

            i do not care if you stay or go that is your choice

            p.s. i did not misrepresent your arguments. you just can’t handle being wrong

             
 
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