...Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...

Hebrews 12:1-2

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ask a Christian @ UCC

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."
Proverbs 27:17

Sorry it has been so long since my last post! Life over the past few months has been pretty crazy: home for 2 weeks for Christmas, study week and Relay 2 in January, and more recently team days in Belfast and mission weeks at UCC!

Last night UCC CU held an event called "Ask a Christian" as part of their mission/events weeks. The Atheist Society on campus has held "Ask an Atheist" events in the past so the CU decided to respond with their own event! Great idea, right?! Unfortunately we were competing with the Societies Ball so turn-out was quite low, but it was still a success!

Last week I was terrified of being on the panel for the event, but once I started reviewing my notes and doing more research, God gave me such excitement for this opportunity! Studying in itself was a great learning experience but the event was even more of a blessing!

The panel consisted of four of us, all with different (but over-lapping) areas of "expertise". Because most of the people in attendance were Christians, we ended up answering a lot of difficult Bible-based questions and clarifying things they had been asked by their non-Christian friends. Some of the questions were: "Why is there suffering?" "Can someone lose their salvation?" "What does 'working out your salvation' mean?" "How can Christians associate with the American Republican Party if it condones the death penalty and use of fire-arms?" (Luckily there were 2 Americans and a Canadian, and 2 of us historians, on the panel to answer this one!)

It was such a blessing to be able to answer people's tough questions that they struggle with and things they've just always wanted to know the answer to.  I'm confident that the answers I gave were from God because I don't think I'd be able to come up with some of those answers on my own! We also worked well as a panel, clarifying and expanding on each others' answers so that hopefully people weren't confused.

There was talk afterward about doing these events more regularly so the tough questions could be talked through, and so the word would eventually spread and draw in more unbelievers. I was a little disappointed that there weren't more non-Christians in attendance but I know that God used the event to stretch the Christians in attendance and clarify things for the people who are "on-the-fence".

There were still many questions after the event and I pray that people wouldn't stop asking! I used to just shrug off the tough questions because they hurt my brain and I assumed they were just things we weren't supposed to know. But since I've been on Relay I've studied those tough questions and find that I'm more able to think through and communicate the truth about those things. (In some ways I felt like this event was my mid-term or final exam for everything that I've studied on Relay so far!) So I hope that others wouldn't just shrug off the tough questions but have the guts to research and think and pray through them.  I feel so honored that God would chose me to be a part of this event and I thank Him for growing me intellectually and practically through it!