If someone were to ask you why you believe what you believe, what would you say? Would you take them down the Roman Road? What if they knew nothing about the Bible? Than the Roman Road is just a bunch of cobbled-together random sentences from one thick book. Can you do the same thing with the Harry Potter Series? Does he point to God? Or would you point to a few science articles that indicate an intelligent creation? Or talk of tales from your personal life experiences? Seriously. Why do you believe what you believe?
And how strongly do you believe it? Would you die for your beliefs? Are you willing to enter into discussion with others about why they believe what they believe (and actually HEAR them)? What would happen to your faith if somehow it was brought into question? If you were shown discrepancies within the Bible? Does that make it any less true? Or if you were told that most of the stories were actually just that – stories, good stories, to teach us lessons. But nothing more. Maybe they were even “borrowed” from other surrounding religions during the time the Bible was being written. What then? And what do you do when someone shows you a picture of an adorable little girl dying of starvation in Africa, or a woman caught in the sex trade? How do you tell them that God is a loving God who “knows the plans [He] has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you”? Or what about the people who tell you that “as long as you believe something – that’s all that matters”? Or the people who call you arrogant because you believe your scriptures, which say that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven? What about the little children who never have a chance to believe in Jesus?
How strong is your faith then?
Can your faith stand up against messy life, heartache, deep pain and everything life will throw your way?
Why do you believe what you believe?
This is a crucial question. YOU HAVE TO KNOW. If you are living your life right, someday someone will ask you. And you better be ready with an answer. Or you will run across people who have been hurt by the Christian religion, and you will need to know how to answer their probably-angry questions with a great deal of grace and love.
And, as a little caveat, if the foundation of your faith, if your answers to hard questions are sort of wishy-washy (“well, I think… “or “somewhere in the Bible it says….”), or come from Sunday morning sermons, (“Well, Pastor Peter says…”), or, worse, come from “biblical” movies (like The Passion, or Veggie Tales, or so many more) your answers aren’t going to hold up. That being said, if your answers are ONLY from scripture and the person asking you questions isn’t from the Christian faith, or a religion that values a main instructional book like the Bible, you scripture references aren’t going to mean much…yet. I mean, as Isaiah 55:11 says, anytime you speak scripture (with the right intent), God will use it. So, by using scripture you’re potentially planting seeds…but you’re not necessarily going to be helpfully answering the questions they have right at that moment.
So then, how do you defend or share your faith? A whole lot of listening for wisdom from the Holy Spirit. A whole lot of living a life that points toward Christ. A whole lot of owning your weaknesses. And a huge amount of confidence in how Christ sees you. Knowing what the Bible says, knowing what science says, and being willing to share your life story. And patience, a whole lotta patience and humility. And a huge helpin’ heap of depending on Christ.