Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Question

John 1:1-3; 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

In this post I will focus on the letter from Monique, and go into more detail as to how I would respond to her.
Well first of all, her letter is filled with information and provides a great deal of information for points of conversation. That is where I would start. She appears very transparent and open to learning the truth. We would attempt to help her transition to a point where she comes to understand that when she reads scripture ... God is speaking directly to her. Our role as a minister of reconciliation is to direct, clarify, and help her stay on the proper path ... not tell her what she is supposed to believe or do. God's word is not hard to understand. The Holy Spirit and the Word will change hearts and minds if we will only allow the truth to speak for itself. The best witness asks the person to read a verse and asks: "The Question"; "WHAT DO YOU THINK GOD IS SAYING TO YOU?
If they clearly do not understand, you help clarify, but don't forget, the Holy Spirit guides you to the scripture that speaks to the issue at hand. He will make His Truth and His ways clear through the power of the Spirit. We must be patient, and she will discover the truth.

I would pray over the letter point by point, that the Holy Spirit would give me wisdom and guidance in each area as they come to mind. And that He would speak to Monique and her mother, brother, and father preparing their hearts for the truth. I would meditate on each issue and pray for the Lord to give me specific scripture that speaks to each issue that comes up. This is exciting, don’t you agree? We can turn everything over to God and He has promised to provide wisdom and solutions. I would appreciate it if you would follow along with these steps and share with me wherever the Lord leads you. That way we can all learn together and receive direction from the Holy Spirit.

Her Letter: “Hi! My name is Monique Melone and I am 23 years old. I'm originally from France, so my English is not so perfect. I live in Potomac, Maryland with my Mother and little brother. My parents are separated. My family was Atheist ever since I was born, so I never really gave religion any thought. Most of my friends in high school were Christian, and I would always go to their houses. When I first met their families, they seemed super nice and friendly; they would ask about my day and tell me to feel at home. They said their prayers before eating all the time, and little by little I would try and do that too. Sometimes I would even go to mass with them. Mom would always say that miracles didn't exist, and we shouldn't do any of that nonsense, but I thought I was ready for this. I wanted to be Christian. I just thought I would gather up some information before going for it, and I thought looking on the net was the best way to do it. I just want to learn the basics. Thank you! Hope to hear from you soon!”

Here are the things that came to mind in my prayer and meditation:
Monique is 23 and from France. Lord, help Al to be able to understand the issues from the perspective of a 23 year old French girl, living in Potomac Md. She is quite likely from a highly educated and wealthy family. Speak to her mother and brother and father, Lord … open their hearts to the truth. She has been raised in an atheist home Lord; help her to see the difference between the truth and the lies. Help her to see the difference between religion and a born again relationship with Jesus Christ. Help her to understand that religion is an invention of man, but that Christianity is a relationship with: You, the Creator of all things, Lord of all, speaking to us all, and that You are reconciling Yourself to men through Jesus Christ who visited us in the form of a man and died on the cross so that we can be forgiven and have eternal life with You in heaven.

Help me to have that same spirit Lord that drew her to you through her friends and their families. Help her to understand that your word is truth, and that it is the foundation for all true knowledge and wisdom that is loving, pure, right, honorable and truthful. Encourage her in her heart Lord, to know the truth. Help her to understand the difference between a prayer that is a rote repetition and a prayer that is a direct communication with you, the source of all miracles. Help her to understand your meaning and purpose for the church … what it is and is not from the Creator’s viewpoint. Help her to understand that there are miracles happening around her everyday. Give me the ability to help her to understand, Lord, your attributes. And that to have a relationship with you and to be born into your family is the greatest miracle anyone could ever hope for. That what we are talking about here is absolute, irreversible, sacred, holy, supernatural, and eternal adoption into Your Royal Priesthood as an heir to the kingdoms of the world … unlike any and all other religions known to man. She doesn’t need to do anything. Jesus has done it all. He will live through her. Her faith in Him will sustain her. The love of Christ is different than any other form of love that she has ever experienced, imagined, or felt. It is never-ending, never judging, unconditional, always forgiving, always there for you, no matter how low you have fallen, or how foolish or sinful you have become. The God she is about to accept is without beginning or end, he is all knowing, all powerful, and ever present … no problem or challenge is too great for Him. To say; “I just thought I would gather up some information before going for it, and I thought looking on the net was the best way to do it, and I just want to learn the basics ” almost sounds like she’s looking to join a health club. Guide me to help her to understand the difference between information on the net, and the truth from God. This is about her eternal life, not a casual decision. The internet has both good and bad information, truth and error. Your Word Lord is absolute truth that can be trusted again and again, throughout your life, and for eternity. Men and their accomplishments come and go … but the Word of the Lord is the truth that abides forever.

Okay, now what are the basics? She has given lots of facts but the question is where do I begin? My prayer is a good outline to follow. Her letter does not explain why she is considering Christianity. So, I would begin with questions. The challenge is that at this point, she is only looking for information and the basics. The internet might seem like the best way to her, because it allows her to maintain control. If I could create the ideal scenario, I would much rather use the internet to establish an agenda that leads to a phone conversation. This would allow for a change of dynamics to a direct discussion that the internet just does not allow. We need to change the conversation, in order to make it more personal between her and Jesus, rather than her and a nameless face on the internet. My first reply would be to ask questions, and then I would attempt to establish guidelines for discussion. How would I do that? By simply responding to her letter like this:

Hello Monique:
Thank you for your letter. I look forward to helping you to understand the truth about Biblical Christianity. Becoming a Christian has improved my life in many ways, beyond anything I ever even imagined, and yes I have seen God’s miracles. After reading your letter, I have a few questions that will help us move forward to finding the answers to your spiritual goals. I am convinced that God’s Word has the solutions to all of the challenges in your life.
1. What do you presently believe?
2. Why do you believe it?
3. What are you struggling with in your life?
4. How do you hope Christianity will help you?
5. What are your thoughts about atheism?
6. What things have you learned about religion that turns you off?
7. Who do you think Jesus is?
9. What do you hope to learn about God?
The answers to these questions will help me to better help you. If you are not sure of an answer, just do the best you can. I look forward to hearing back from you soon. By the way don’t hesitate calling me direct at 949-632-5679
God Bless, Bob

Our next post will consider the Biblical solutions and questions God would have us ask Monique.

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
God Bless you my friends, Bob


  1. Bob,

    I don't know how I could possibly add to all the great insight you have posted here. I can only say from my experience that going to church and making a "confession of faith" as a teenager did nothing for me because I wasn't ready.

    I wasn't ready to make Jesus my Lord. You made the point of contrasting rote prayer and direct communication with God. I basically prayed what the pastor prayed and I even thought I meant it. But I wasn't ready.

    It took many years before I realized that I wasn't ready and willing to give over my life to Christ. That's the key. Selfishness was my God as you pointed out.

    But there's another aspect to this. I didn't understand sin and what sin did to cause a separation from God and me to begin with. I figured it out eventually. Many things started coming together once I realized my life (that I was trying to build on my own) kept falling apart and I was actually making it worse.

    I think Monique may need to understand sin and know about its consequences before she can understand the Good News that Jesus brings. But believe me, what you have written to this point shows the heart and direction that God has led you in sharing with her. Be faithful to that and I truly believe your witness will bear fruit.

    God bless your willingness to share your faith with Monique and engage her in a way that goes beyond just sharing information. It's about introducing her to the Savior. May God open her eyes and heart to the truth.

    God bless you,

  2. Dean,

    Thanks for your encouragement. We need to pray for Al as he witnesses to Monique.

    The first three keys to sharing with an athiest are 1. who God is, and 2. the authority of His Word and then 3. sin. That is why John 1:1-3; 14 and 1 John 2:15-17 were quoted in this post.

    God Bless, Bob