I walked into a Chinese restaurant and was surprised that a young Latino came to take my order. I spoke to him in Spanish, wanting to connect with him and wanting practice! After I ordered, I noticed statues on shelves against the wall. There were quite a few of them, lined up so that it looked like a shrine. I asked him, “What are those?” He answered, “dioses (gods)." I smiled and said, “no, idols.” He responded, “It depends on what you believe.” I countered, “No, it depends on what is truth.”
Our belief does not create reality. Yet, we live in a time where much of the world is content to embrace relativism concerning all spiritual things. You’ll hear people say things like, “All religions basically teach the same thing,” and “It doesn’t really matter what you believe, just be a good person.” It seems to me people are often led by feelings rather than reason. A Christian author shared that the time we’re in, "post-modernity", is essentially a mood. A mood can be a dangerous state of mind because it crushes reason under the weight of feeling.
Dialogue with people who have this belief in relativism is fun for me. If you engage with a smile on your face and the love of Christ within you, it really can be a joy. A topic that always comes up is the exclusive claims of faith. What people don’t realize is the statement, “All religions basically teach the same thing” is an exclusive claim as well! Remember, we follow the One who said he is the truth (John 14:6)! Training is helpful when the conversation involves different beliefs, religions and world-views. We live in a time where training is at our fingertip and amazing resources are available. If you need some recommendations, please reach out to me.
Some people like to argue about all the differing truth claims and honest dialogue can fall apart. When the arguments begin, I usually switch to testimony. People can argue about God, religion and whether or not something is ultimately true. However, it’s a lot harder to argue with someone’s story. During the 40 days Jesus was with the disciples after rising from the dead, he said, “. . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)."
How wonderful is this! God, by His Spirit will dwell within us, giving us power and boldness to tell our stories about what Christ has done for us! Jesus uses the word "witnesses" – not theologians, not lawyers, but "witnesses." You’re the expert on you! If Christ has forgiven you, saved you, healed you and given you new life, you can put it into your own words and share!
Jesus had an encounter with a Samaritan woman in John 4. As Jesus reveals his identity to her it is an amazing story. Her response doesn’t get enough attention! She went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ (John 4:29)?" They were moved by her words, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony (John 4:39a)." After they spent two days with Jesus, they said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world (John 4:42)!" What!? The whole town proclaiming Jesus as the Savior of the world! God used her testimony to bring a town to true faith! The disciples hadn’t done anything near that level yet!
If you’ve read this far, I urge you, walk closely with Jesus and tell others what he has done for you! You never know how God will use your witness for his glory! My friend Kurt has been helping me out with some video projects and I’m thrilled that my testimony is now recorded. Some don’t know about how Jesus pulled me out of darkness and danger. In the video, you will hear how God used the testimonies of my mom, Pastor Al Honaker, a friend named Spencer and many testimonies on the Emmaus spiritual retreat to open my eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all! I encourage you to watch it and share it with a friend if you think it could be of help.
We belong to Jesus as He has bought us with His very life! He longs to rescue others using our testimony, acts of love and service to help people know him. Hallelujah!