Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Crystal’s Questions....1 & 2

Hi. I am the Alpha Dude at Northview Christian Life Church in Carmel, Indiana.
While the adults are attending the Alpha Course, I have the privilege of presented the kid-version of the adult message to their children. It is a great honor and I have come to love and respect those kids. Besides getting to dress up in a Hawaiian shirt and act goofy and talk with a surfer-dude voice, I get to see how smart some of those kids really are. They may seem like little kids to most people, and I suppose they are, but they also have some very grown up questions and concerns.

I met one of the Dads recently, and he told me about his daughter, who is, right now, one of the kids I get to teach and entertain on Monday nights. Her name is Crystal.
Her Dad said that Crystal has been asking a lot of questions lately and has even taken the time to write them all down. After speaking with him for a while, I asked him if it would be alright for me to get a copy of that list of questions, with Crystal’s permission, of course.

The very next week, he gave me list. Crystal herself even asked me later if got a copy of her list and asked me what I thought. She was rather excited that I would be interested in her questions. I told her I thought she asked very good questions and that I would do my best to answer them. By the way, Crystal is twelve years old.

From Crystal’s list, in the order she wrote them:

1. How do we know God exists?
2. Why can’t we see God?

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
Okay, so let’s not spend our time quoting scripture. That would be too easy. And in most cases, defending biblical things requires referring to scripture, because God’s Word is truth, and you just can’t argue with the truth. But what if someone refuses to believe what is written in the Bible, or doesn’t yet know what is in there? How do you make your case if you can’t refer to the Bible? Well, let’s give it a try, since after all, we are answering the questions of a 12 year old girl.

There is new song out by George Strait called “I saw God today”. It is a beautiful song that reminds me of the time when my children were born. To watch them form from nothing, to the day they breathed their first breath. As they made their first sounds, Yah Hey – Vah Hey, the very name of God (Yaweh). The breath of life. Looking at those little babies as they entered this world, a miracle from Heaven, created in the image of God, and in the likeness of their parents. How could God not exist?

I’ve climbed a few mountains in my time. One was over 14,000 feet above mean sea level. It was a beautiful clear day. From the top of that mountain I could see the curvature of the earth. I could see the valleys below, teaming with life. Rivers and streams, trees, plants, flowers, birds and all the forest type critters roaming about. Where did they all come from? Surely, someone, or something, had to have made them. I stared in awe as I watched the clouds drift by in the clear blue sky while I felt the cool breeze on my face.

Other occasions have found me staring up at the clear night sky admiring all the stars and constellations. Certainly someone put them there and set them all into motion.

And what about me? Where did I come from and what purpose do I serve in being here? And why here and not someplace else? I figure it is all a part of some divine plan. But whose plan? Clearly, none of those things could have happened by chance.

I have seen some pretty amazing things in my life.
I have seen an angry, wicked man who lived a violent and dangerous life, exposing his wife and children to the world of drugs and crime and evil, turn away from it and now follows Jesus. If you’d met him before, you would never know it was the same man. But it is him. Something renewed him. Something changed his heart. God is the only one who had the power to reach that man.

I’ve seen lives changed. I’ve seen miracles happen. Many of them in my own life.

I am trying hard not to resort to the Bible to answer Crystal’s questions. It would be so easy to quote a specific verse and then provide examples as to why it is true. But there are non-biblical historical writings that talk about a man named Jesus who walked this earth and the timeline matches what is written in the Bible. Those writings talk about a man named Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem, who performed many miracles that could not be explained and who was crucified by the Romans for claiming to be God.

Every account that I read of people who set out to prove the Bible wrong, trying to prove that God does not exist, has resulted in those very people coming into a saving relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Now, some people will still argue that there is no proof that God exists. And their arguments are based on personal opinion, not facts. Of all the people who took the time to do the research and do their homework and really try to build a case against the existence of God, has come to realize that God does exist and that He is just who He said He is.
(If you have not yet read the book “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”, by Josh McDowell, I highly recommend it).

I remember a TV show from a while back called Joan of Arcadia. Joan was a young girl who met God face to face. God appeared to her as different people at different times. Near the beginning of the show, Joan was talking to God, who had appeared to her as a young man. She wanted proof that he was God, so she asked him to perform a miracle. The young man pointed to a big Oak tree and said, “How about this?”
Joan replied, “That’s just a tree!”So God said, “Let’s see YOU make one!”
Does God exist?
Just look around you. How can you look at a flower, or a tree, or the sunset, or the stars in the sky or the love in someone’s eyes, and think that God doesn’t exist? Still need proof? Look in the mirror.

You were made in the image of Almighty God. You are perfect in His eyes. He created you for a purpose. He created you for His pleasure. He loves you enough to send His Son here to pay the price for your sins and for mine.

In the book of Psalms, it is written: “Be still, and KNOW that I am God”.

Just know.

Every time I get to hang out with those Alpha Sprout kids at the church, or look into the eyes of my own children, I can honestly say, “I saw God today”.

Have you seen God today?

Next time: more of Crystal’s Questions

3. How much longer until the rapture?
4. How do we know for a fact that there will be a rapture?
5. Why do non-believers have to stay living while believers die at the rapture?

The Lord your God is with you. He will quiet you with His love. (Zephaniah 1:17)


Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie said...

Man, Alpha Dude -- you really are doing an awesome ministry. My prayers for you, as you answer some of Crystal's questions.

She's got a lot going on in her heart and her head right now, doesn't she!?

Dr.John said...

Good answers to Crystal's questions.

Gerbil said...

there is a childrens book called Old Turtle (the watercolor illos alone are beautiful enough to bring one to tears) and it talks about how in the beginning all things could talk and they began arguing about God. each saw God as their own image and they argues until Old Turtle stopped them. she affirmed each of their ideas (for isn't God all of these?) and then said ''There will soon be a new race of beings. they are a message of love from God to the earth and a prayer from the earth back to God.'' ... and the People came....

its a beautiful story and I used it especially to illustrate to my older children (since their family has different faiths and christian denominations too) that other people may view God differently but God is God. and that's okay.

Very good responses to Crystal, and wonderful that she's looking for the hard answers to further her growth.

EE said...

Incredible post, Dude!
Can't wait to see the answers to the other questions!
Happy Easter!!!