By Kaydene Green
Let’s be honest – if you’re a Christian, you may have noticed that talking about your faith and God in this post-modern era may have earned you the crazy eyes from onlookers. Even worse than disapproving stares are the death sentences many Christian evangelizers receive around the world. Why is talking about faith so ‘cringy’ or threatening for that matter?
It may be seen as an infringement on the beliefs of others primarily because of our melting pot society of many different races, nationalities and a diverse upbringing and life experiences that carries with them many unique beliefs and values.
Apart from that, many Christians wrestle with the new influences presented by the increase in technological advances which heavily aides in a greater distribution of distorting and unsolicited worldviews.
This kind of hinderance, amongst the many others, causes many believers to find shelter in silence. While many of the faith grow mute, the media plunges forward in it’s pursuit to publish distasteful content for the public to absorb because, well, the number of views and public approvals have become the driving forces to what becomes “viral” and “acceptable” even when the information is far from the truth or damaging.
Some unbelievers are at odds with the faith because, as I’ve heard time after time, Christian teachings appear to be “illogical”. If human logic and reasoning was so great, why then are there so many ethical issues in our world today? Would it then be safe to say human logic is limited?
I’ve never worked in ministry nor am I surrounded by all like-minded individuals every single day, which to be clear, is not in and of itself a bad thing – but when the discussions get intense, it becomes hard not to pull from the knowledge of my Christian worldview. It guides me in all I do and when I fall short of the guidance that had been provided, I run right back to it for correction and redirection.
But then, the moment I reach for my personal faith beliefs, which I believe has many of the solutions for our problems today, the conversations eventually die or never last much longer and the awkward silence soon invades the room.
And so, with every moment that presents itself to talk about my faith, I am left to wonder, “am I going to offend someone with my God-talk today? or “will they think I am crazy?” I’ve hesitated even offering prayer. Why? Because to some of my peers, there’s no one to pray to. “If God is real why is all of this happening?” I get this question all the time and I honestly wish I had the right answer ready. I’ve learned from many real life situations that we do not need all the answers to take the first step towards the unknown, so why should it be any different with the Christian faith?
So, how exactly do we go about telling our “non-religious” friends and family about our own beliefs and experiences of God? Why do we need to do it and what exactly should we really say? How can we prove that what we are saying is even true and if we can, how can we relay it effectively to others? Is there anything that could hinder the process and how do we avoid those hinderances?
As I’ve mentioned, we do not need to have all the answers and we probably never will. A Christian belief will not satisfy the desire for human logic. It is beyond what we will ever be able to make sense of in this life. It does the complete opposite of societal norms which is why it is so necessary to dive into. New actions means new results.
The Beginning Of My Christian Walk
I’ve spent many years learning of God through the experiences of others. My grandmother introduced me to church at the very tender age of 3; if my memory serves me correct; and it could be argued that if I was born in a different part of the world, I would hold firmly the values of a different religion.
But what good are speculations?
Knowing what I know about the teachings in the bible, I am grateful this faith chose me.
Let me be real with you, I’ve had moments of doubts that I don’t even know if I believe in what I say I believe in. Many people of faith may have experienced this at some point in their journey. The mass media, (mainly social media) is notoriously known for information and worldview overload. It takes me 3-5 business days (a running joke I have with some friends) to catch up and all the videos and links I receive. If I’m are not careful, the opinions presented in these posts soon permeates into my daily routine and unknowingly could begin to shape the way I behave.
I did life on my own terms for many years and learned hard and fast that I could not rely on my own human strength and reasoning. I made many disastrous mistakes and yes, it is indeed true that experiences can be our greatest teacher, but had I have my own personal relationship with God and had spent time in the profound teachings of scripture, I could have avoided many of the traumatic situations I’ve had to live through.
With that said, where do we really start?
The Foundation of The Christian Faith
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In William Fore’s article titled “A Theology of Communication”, Fore states that: “There are several Christian doctrines, derived from the witness of Scripture, Christian tradition, and the reflection of Christians today, which bear directly on the role of communication in society. They are: creation and stewardship; sin and redemption; the newness of life; good news and proclamation; and Christian witness.“
Lets dive into these doctrines:
- Creation – The book of Genesis provides an account of the events of creation. It is here that God’s authority is established (source). God created the world and ultimately created us in his image. God placed man in the garden of Eden to be good stewards of what He created.
- Sin – Sin entered the world (again in the book of Genesis) through the disobedience of Adam. Sin is a result of human rebellion against God. The extent of sin goes far and wide (universal). As a result, God sent His only son, Jesus, (John 3:26) to sacrifice His life in order to redeem human relationship with God. A fallen world is evident in many ways. Have you seen the news lately?
- Salvation (Newness of Life) – Christians believe that through Jesus’ sacrifice, we have been granted a renewed relationship with God but to experience the fullness, we must receive this gift. (Romans 10:9-10)
- Good News (Proclamation) – through Jesus’ ascension, we are promised the gift of the holy spirit who is our guide to living in this broken world and when that time comes to an end, to spend eternity in God’s kingdom. (Mark 16:15 & Romans 1:16)
- Witness (Sharing through communication) – this is why you are reading this blog today or have even experienced someone in the streets sharing how God revealed Himself to them. Had I never been exposed to the faith or someone making it a determinant to communicate what they belief, I would have been living life hopelessly.
Applying What We Believe
Learning what the bible tells us is possibly the easiest part of the Christian faith. Anyone can do that. To bring this knowledge to full potential however, we must apply what we have read. How do we go about doing this?
- Allowing ourselves to experience God mainly through His word. We learn the nature of the God of Christianity through careful study of the scriptures. I’ve noticed a difference with how I handle my day when I have not spent time in the word as opposed to when I do.
- Through worship – Attending church services gives us an opportunity to gather together with raised hands and open hearts to worship the creator of the universe, but there are many other ways we can worship God.
- Through serving – The foundation of Jesus’s mission was to serve us and through his example we too can learn how to serve others.
How Do We Get To Know God?
All around us are revelations of God. Christianity is about walking by faith and not just by what we can see (2 Corinthians 5:7). I know, telling you what I know about the Christian faith may not be appealing. “How can you prove any of this?” is a common question I get. Truth is, I cant always prove the information presented in the history books are presenting me with accurate information, but truth has a way of revealing itself. God is the author of truth. Scripture was written by men, but inspired by God. I know, hard to believe and possibly why many are skeptical about the information presented, but in taking some time to get acquainted with the bible, I’ve proven that it is indeed inspired by God. A college professor I had many years ago said that the bible is the only book that people question and has doubts about. If a best-seller book is advertised with raving reviews, the chances of it being purchased is high without any questions.
God created everything, including the universe. For us to understand the universe, we have to study it. As a result we have science and science, as I’ve heard some time ago, is really God’s way of giving us an idea of how He did it.
The best way to get to know God and to communicate Him to others, begins in scripture and with prayer. Effective communication is a two-way process. If we never tap into the spiritual aspect of our being and connect with a source greater than ourselves, How will we ever know what He is trying to say to us?
God Communicates Through…
Nature – Is there anything about nature that was known to mankind without careful study? I’m not an expert on the details of nature, but take a moment to look outside and see the wonders of God’s creation.
The written word, The Bible – The greatest source of communication authority is through the scriptures. But to understand it, we need the divine help God sent us when Jesus ascended.
Why People Don’t Experience God
Like any thriving relationship, there needs to be communication. Effective communication involves speaking or relaying the message as well as listening to the respnse. Have you tried whispering a message to someone who was miles away? How effective was that? Did they need to come closer to hear? Isn’t this possibly the same with the God of the universe?
How Should Christians Communicate God?
How to overcome the noise of fear, doubt, and confusion can be a tough one to do. We are called to evangelize and share the goodness of God. We can share of God through our actions, our own experiences of God, through what we do and in how careful we are with what we say.
Danny Gokey has a really neat song on communicating faith. If you are an unbeliever and you’ve made it this far in this continually developing blog, I pray you experience a God who desires to communicate with you. For my likeminded readers, share your faith communication story. What do you believe and how do you relay your beliefs. What can you add that will edify others?
If you’d like to learn more about Christian Theology of Communication check out “A Theology Of Communication by William F. Fore”.
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