This week we spent a couple of days in the Lion’s Den at MSSU asking people to finish the statement, “Love is…” As you might imagine we got a great variety of comments and had some really good conversations with people about why they answered as they did as well as what we, as Christians, believe to be the answer.
Love is…complicated! As students wrote on the board, they were asked if, time permitting, they wouldn’t mind sharing more about their answer. This often led to them asking us about it in return.
From the Christian perspective, love is what God demonstrated toward us when he sent Jesus to die on the cross. This Sunday is Easter, when the followers of Jesus celebrate not his death, but what happened next. We believe that three days later he came back, was resurrected, and so proved the truth of all the crazy things he taught during his life. Claims like he was the God incarnate. Crazy! But how else to explain his return? Claims that he came to heal broken relationships, to make the world a better place and that by trusting in him we can have a relationship with God that leads ultimately to life with him in heaven. Love, for us, is God leading us live better both today and forever, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Posted in BSU Update, Evangelism
Tagged Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Baptist Student Union, campus ministry, Easter, God, Jesus, Love, Missouri Baptist Convention, Missouri Southern State University, mosobsu, mssu, Outreach, Spring River Baptist Association
Holy diorama, Batman!
You have to appreciate the Old Testament prophets. They were called on to do all kinds of crazy stuff and they always came through. Even Jonah finished the job, although he clearly took some convincing to do so. One great example is Ezekiel. Take a minute to read Ezekiel 4:1-8. (Go on, I’ll wait…) Essentially, God asks him to make a diorama of the siege of Jerusalem and lay down in the dirt with it for over a year while he preached to passers-by. Image what that must have looked like!
Now, let’s bring that forward. Consider this question: who was your all-time favorite teacher or professor? Chances are they were really good at creative engagement; they found ways to hold your attention and make the material interesting, the good ones always do. God understands that. That’s why, if you take time to read through a lot of the Old Testament prophets, you’ll find tons of examples of these guys doing all sorts of crazy weird things to get people’s attention and make their point.
What does that mean for you, though?
It means this, instead of shirking the responsibility of sharing faith, have a little fun with it instead. Be creative. Look for odd connections and teachable moments when you can take the conversation in an unexpected direction. Don’t force it and you’ll find opportunities to share can come quite naturally. And don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely you’ll wind up making a diorama and laying on the ground somewhere. After all, it’s been done already!
Craig Hazen pointed out that while Jesus is a universal religious figure–everyone feels the need to deal with him–only Christianity makes him the central figure.
Gary Canfield taught that it’s okay to fail, that failure can direct us to where/what we need to be and we’re not going through it alone.
Gary Habermas shared with us six facts that NINETY PERCENT or more of academic experts agree on (including atheists):
- Jesus lived and died by crucifixion.
- The Disciples sincerely believed they had seen and experienced the risen Jesus.
- The Resurrection was proclaimed extremely early by the church.
- The Disciples were transformed by their experiences.
- James the Skeptic (Jesus’ brother) was transformed.
- Saul the Accuser became Paul the Apostle and was transformed.
Given those academically indisputable facts, you do a lot! That said, again, most disbelief is centered not in fact, but emotion. People don’t want to believe, for one reason or another, and twist truth to justify their disbelief. (Incidentally, Habermas indicates that over 75% of all scholars believe in an empty tomb.)
“If God is all good, and if God is all-powerful, then why does Alabama keep playing in the national title game?” (Rhyne Putnam)
“There has been far too much genuflection at the altar of David Hume.” (Tim McGrew)
And when asked about the possibility of the existence of Batman somewhere in the multiverse, Jeff Zweerink admitted it was, in fact, possible.
We were also reminded that in a public arena wherein Jesus is misrepresented in an astonishing variety of ways, what he said about himself by word and deed was fairly unequivocal: He. Is. Lord.
A great thought we ran into today:
“If you were to raise a child and work your fingers to the bone to send that child to college, and the child only occasionally sent you a Christmas card and never gave you the time of day, that would be wrong. It’s wrong because child owes not just deference but love. Now, if there is a God who created us and keeps us alive every minute, then the love we owe God would be infinitely greater. To not love him supremely would be infinitely worse. If you believe that, you begin to see how much we have wronged him. It begins to draw your heart outward toward him in humility and grief.”
Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God