March 03, 2004

Randy vs. Chapel, Round 2

(Edited because this was written rather hastily and I felt like changing a few slight things)

Before I begin, let me say that I completely agreed with almost everything that Mr. Cahill said in Chapel today and that I will probably be attending the evening chapel at seven o'clock. I am not complaining about his message. With that clarified...

I did not like Mr. Cahill's presentation of his material. Despite his probable good intentions, he did manage to come off as a bit of a braggart to me. I'm sure that wasn't what he was trying to do. The snapping of his fingers got extremely annoying incredibly fast. I understand he was making a point. That doesn't change the fact that it was loud and high-pitched. How a finger-snap can sound high-pitched is outside of my knowledge, but his did to me. I was also rather annoyed by his constant need for repeating a word. "Yes!" "Disobediant!" "Disobediant!" "Yes!"

Those things, however, I can just ignore as being annoying quirks of a speaker. I can not do that with this next point because I have heard several speakers do this exact same thing.

For about two years before I became a Christian I considered myself an atheist. Not many people know this about me because I don't really talk about it. I was absolutely convinced that every single Christian was a moron, and I was fairly certain that the majority of them were hypocrites. I believed there was an almost ridiculous amount of evidence to show that life began without the help of any all-powerful being. All of this caused me to despise anyone who tried to "guilt-trip" others into becoming a Christian.

I would not talk with anyone about Christianity or Christ unless I was ridiculing it. I could not stand people who would walk around practically saying "Praise God" to anything. Nothing could have convinced me to actually listen to someone who was serious about God. This continued up until I did convert to Christianity.

My conversion to Christianity was not the result of some random Christian walking up to me off the street and asking something along the lines of "Do you know Jesus?" I would not have taken that person seriously. My conversion was the result of actions that I took. I went to a church camp for the sole purpose of being around my friends for a couple weeks of the summer. While here I met actual intelligent Christians who earned Christianity a lot of respect in my eyes. They presented evidence against evolution. The end result of going to this camp was my acceptance of Christ.

The point of this is that witnessing to me directly did not work during my short time as an atheist. This is a fact that many people neglect to mention. Mr. Cahill made it sound as if anyone can just walk up and ask anyone "Where are you spending eternity?" and almost immediately convert the person. If this were an ideal world it might be like that. The truth of the situation is that many people react extremely negatively to anything dealing with any religion. I know that I did. I expected to go to that camp and mock it the entire time.

My conversion came about because people cared about me as a person before bringing religion into our conversations. They got to know me. They took my opinions seriously. They listened to me. It was very obvious that they cared about me. This happened after several conversations. I can't believe that someone honestly cares about me after a ten minute to one hour conversation.

I find it irritating that so many speakers make it sound as if a Christian to walk up to an atheist, talk with him or her for a couple of minutes, and walk away with a brother or sister in Christ. While it can and does happen sometimes, it will not happen all that often. Most people don't like mentioning that, though.

Posted by Randy at March 3, 2004 02:48 PM | TrackBack