I’m humbled that you wish to post my testimony. You most certainly can. However, given that my last message was in regards to your courteous suggestions regarding my personal dilemma with mixed martial arts, I believe those who would view that written testimony would require some additional information in order to avoid confusion. Thus, I’ve rewritten and revised my message so that it may conform to its new purpose:
In today’s world, Christians are facing much persecution. Globally, Christians are becoming more doubtful of their faith, and more hesitant to publicly proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in both word and deed. This is because Christians are being persecuted—everywhere. Christians are persecuted in the Middle East by ISIS, often being tortured and beheaded. Christians are being persecuted by pop-culture, where those true to their faith are accused of being ‘intolerant.’ Moreover, edgy comedians, gurus of self-love, the entertainment industry, and others, insist ‘religion’ must be removed in order for utopia to be realized.
Religion has become the whipping boy for society’s whims. The good, we’re told, comes from our ‘progress,’ our jumping from the nest of religious ignorance, to fly freely to new horizons. While those true to their faith are seen as primitive, insane, biased, repulsive, and blind.
Yet there is another persecution, one many Christians unfortunately see as the most daunting and one-sided. This battle is happening in science labs and philosophy halls. University campus after University campus, a scene of Godlessness is present. Though Universities were originally places of both Christian faith and humble curiosity, it has now become a dogmatic enterprise where our nation’s future generation is often brainwashed by uncompromising ideologies, whether it be through prejudicial caricatures of religion, or brash teasing and ostracizing. And, behold, the New Atheists have emerged on the scene: apparently atop the mountain of reason.
This is a problem. For many Christians, the U.S. in particular, the lack of knowledge regarding apologetics is decaying the Christian community, leading many away from their faith to spiritual bankruptcy. Our atheist friends tell us God is an imaginary friend, our relationship with Jesus Christ is nothing more than a blind and wild delusion—cowardly constructed so we can believe in immortality and cosmic justice.
However, the truth has a mind of its own. Wholly apart and independent of postmodernist distortion, there are, in fact, deep philosophical arguments for the existence of God. Namely, those of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas; and new modern ones which address objective morality, and the necessity for a soul—not mere neurological activity—for the existence of authentic human reason and free will. There are very detailed and sound arguments in science, which address the origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of life, and so on. There are deep arguments rooted in history for the historical life of Jesus of Nazareth. Where historians believer and non-believer alike, have reached a remarkable consensus regarding the historicity and inerrancy of the Holy Bible.
These arguments are what everyone, especially the Body of Christians, need to hear! And, fortunately, these arguments may be found—easily. Even a simple blog site, contains material abundant in both quality and quantity, addressing many concerns of the modern man. The blog post I’m referring to, of course, is Historical Jesus Studies. The blogs are informative and the responses are timely and charitably written. Historical Jesus Studies also does pocket-apologetics, where an entire misconception posed by secularists is identified, explained, and debunked. Now followers of Jesus need not acquire a PhD in theology to spread the ‘Good News,’ but click ‘share’ on Facebook to help people hear the truth of Christianity.
Currently, many people are sadly in a state of limbo regarding the theological landscape, while others deeply oppose it. But for the few who genuinely pursue the truth, Christ promises, “‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:32 NIV)
The battle taking place, is not ‘faith versus reason,’ but two opposing philosophies both with uncompromising metaphysical implications. One promises eternal life, the other, if correct, leads to death. But if both argue the truth is what they strive for, then one must take a step back, and see what sacrifices are being made to make truth the top priority. It is my position, in light of the arguments pertaining to classic western philosophy and modern secular philosophy, that one’s exposure to the truth isn’t measured by their knowledge of the evidence per se, but rather their spiritual condition. That is not to say every religious person is humble and vice versa for the agnostic, rather only the humble may feel God’s hand working in their lives. Faith rooted in humility makes spiritual sight possible. Humility also inspires forgiveness, something the poor, the lonely, the sick, and the lost may find possible; but not the arrogant. It is humility, then, that makes us susceptible to the truth; and thus more probable in ever understanding the truth beyond one’s limited physical perspective.
For each of us, then, humility makes us cross-bearers in the eyes of God. Peasants may enter God’s dwelling place, but the crown-wearers should not enter a foreign kingdom. It’s by the sacrifice of the King for His creation that they may inherit what is only rightfully His. And how is grace truly unwrapped? By bringing Jesus into our lives. “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6 NIV) We must also spread and publicly proclaim the Gospel. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15 KJV)
God communicates to His seekers through others who live for Him. You certainly are one of those people. It is in this regard that God has powerfully used your gifts to deeply enrich my life. I’m now a fearless witness for God, and an aspiring apologist (I’m even writing my own book!). The apologetics I’ve been exposed to by Christian philosophers has been overwhelming. I’ve learned that faith leads to the ultimate reason for life. The arguments provided have been very helpful not only intellectually, but spiritually. And in my personal experience, the arguments against God lead to intellectual, moral (when fully carried out), and spiritual poverty.
The Bible promises, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8 NIV) “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NIV) If we humble ourselves, then, God may become an immediate reality. For the Light of the world pulls us from the darkness of existence, with love and grace, down to those low enough to admit they need Him. Then He carries us Home as He once carried the Cross. These things have been revealed to me because God really does know me, really does know what He’s doing, and really does want the relationship He promises to provide. To see, then, we must only dare to believe. And apparently it’s worth a shot! “No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no one’s heart has imagined all the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 CJB) What we have, in Jesus Christ, is good reason for hope, for meaning, and for destiny.
And I must give you my most sincere thanks, for having God work through your life as He has. Historical Jesus Studies and The Illogical Atheist have equipped me well, and have inspired me to change my life’s trajectory for God in the form of apologetics. For Peter 3:15-16 NIV declares: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”