Homeschooling Teen

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Rabbit Trail

By R.E. Olsen

Christian: “The Bible says ABC.”

Not-a-Christian: “The Bible does not say ABC.”

Christian: “Here are some Bible verses that say ABC.”

Not-a-Christian: “You are taking those verses out of context. The Bible does not mean ABC.”

Christian: “Here are long excerpts from the Bible, many from different books written a thousand years apart, supporting the doctrine. The Bible says ABC.”

Not-a-Christian: “The Bible has been mis-copied and mis-translated. The Bible did not originally say ABC.”

Christian: “Here are older, older, and yet older copies of the Bible, some from around the time of the original author. They show the Bible is the same. It has been faithfully copied and translated. The Bible says ABC.”

Not-a-Christian: “The Bible has been mis-interpreted.”

Christian: “Here are the writings of Christian authors after the events of the Bible. They were written by church councils and individuals with insight that has inspired generations of thinkers. The consistently confirm the Bible does say and mean ABC.”

Not-a-Christian: “The Bible was written by men such as Paul who had their own agenda.”

Christian: “Can I ask you something?”

Not-a-Christian: “Sure.”

Christian:  “Do you think you are a good person?”

Not-a-Christian:  “Sure, you don’t have to be a Christian to do good in this world.”

Christian:   “Let me ask a different question, given what you know about what Christians teach about God, and given that that God actually exists, do you think that He would call you good?”

Not-a-Christian:  “That is convoluted and I’m not sure what to say except that I have both known Christians and heard about Christians that are anything but good.”

Christian:  “That is not surprising, Jesus said there would be fake Christians, and Paul warned there would be fake Christian teachers. He said they would be dangerous.”

Not-a-Christian:  “OK.”

Christian:  “Is there a long running standard for good behavior that people know about?”

Not-a-Christian:  “No idea.”

Christian:  “There is; it is called The Ten Commandments.”

Not-a-Christian:  “Oh.”

Christian:  “Have you kept the Ten Commandments?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I don’t know what they all are.”

Christian: “Well, how many lies have you told in your life?”

Not-a-Christian: “I’d be telling another if I said I knew.”

Christian:  “What do you call people who tell lies?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I don’t call them anything. I really don’t care.”

Christian:  “Well, what if you did care and the lie hurt you, a business partner took the profits and told you only about the liabilities leaving you in debt.”

Not-a-Christian:  “I’m pretty sure I would not waste time calling him names, I’d probably be doing something else to him.”

Christian:  “Hmm…”

Not-a-Christian: “Yup.”

Christian:  “Granted you have a legitimate grievance and a loss, but can you narrow the conversation to just the lie itself? You trusted this guy and he lied to you.”

Not-a-Christian:  “OK you’re right, that would hurt and the guy is sleazy.”

Christian:  “No liars will be in heaven.”

Not-a-Christian:  “Are you serious? Is that what you believe?”

Christian:  “Yes, and my belief has no power to do anything in the matter. It is irrelevant. The last book of the Bible says all liars are going to hell. Read Revelations 21:8.”

Not-a-Christian:  “OK, so are you telling me you have never told a lie? What are you trying to say?”

Christian:  “The answer takes some development and explanation on the way things are. Let me first say that I have told lies in my life and yet I am going to live forever in Heaven. Do you have some time to listen and understand why I say this?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I’ve got a few minutes.”

Christian:  “Again, what do you call a person who tells lies?”

Not-a-Christian:  “A liar.”

Christian:  “What about someone who takes things that do not belong to them?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I would call him a thief.”

Christian:  “Have you ever stolen anything, even if it’s small, regardless of its value?”

Not-a-Christian:  “Yes.”

Christian:  “Jesus said that if you look at a woman and want to or imagine having sex with her, it is as if you already have.“

Not-a-Christian:  “I’m not sure I like you anymore, are you crazy? This is as natural as turning 14.”

Christian:  “It is certainly what people do, just like lying and stealing.”

Not-a-Christian:  “Ha, I’m screwed.”

Christian:  “Let me ask you one more question on the Ten Commandments. Have you ever spoken God’s name in a bad way?”

Not-a-Christian:  “You mean like #$@&%*!?”

Christian:  “What is your grandmother’s name?”

Not-a-Christian:  “Evelyn on Mom’s side.”

Christian:  “If you jammed your thumb in the kitchen drawer would you use consider using her name in the way you just used God’s?”

Not-a-Christian:  “No, of course not.”

Christian:  “While she was standing there, would you do it?”

Not-a-Christian:  “That is stupid, of course not.”

Christian:  “Yes, of course not, you love her and respect her too much, and you know beyond that your words would hurt her.”

Not-a-Christian:  “Yes.”

Christian:  “How about an enemy of yours, someone who has shafted you in the past?”

Not-a-Christian:  “You mean like #$@&%*! — Bill — #$@&%*! — Bill.”

Christian:  “Yes.”

Not-a-Christian:  “It actually sounds silly, I might say it shortly after he hurt me and only in connection with what he did.”

Christian:  “Has God hurt you then?”

Not-a-Christian: “No not really, You know I am not sure why I use that name, just standard convention I guess, I don’t really think of it.”

Christian:  “To me, if I was to use anyone’s name in such a way, it would be someone despicable. Why hasn’t our society focused for instance on using Hitler’s name instead?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I do not know, slang just arises, I do not know how or why.”

Christian:  “Are guilty people many times angry at the judge?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I guess.”

Christian:  “So let me sum up what I heard you tell me about yourself. You are a lying thieving adulterer who regularly blasphemes God. Do I have that right?”

Not-a-Christian:  “Ha, I am totally screwed.”

Christian:  “If God judges you by the Ten Commandments (we only talked about four) do you think he will find you innocent or guilty?”

Not-a-Christian:  “Given He exists, as I said I’m screwed.”

Christian:  “Does this concern you?”

Not-a-Christian:  “You know, at times it does.”

Christian:  “Do you know what God did to save guilty sinners and make them innocent?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I went to church and Sunday school growing up so I know about Jesus on the cross dying for sinners, but it does not make sense because how does one guy dying save me?”

Christian:  “Let me start by using the civil law. You are standing before a judge who has found you guilty, you know you’re guilty, the evidence is there. He says that you can pay a million dollar fine or go to prison for a long time. You have no money, nothing to satisfy justice, and the gavel is about to come down, when a stranger enters the courtroom and hollers, ‘Wait! I will pay his fine.’”

Not-a-Christian:  “That would be quite cool, but why would he do that for me?”

Christian:  “I don’t know everything, but for some reason he likes you. Who knows why, but he paid a stiff price just to get you out of trouble.”

Not-a-Christian:  “Huh.”

Christian:  “Would you want to do something nice for Him?”

Not-a-Christian:  “I would hate to be an ingrate.”

Christian:  “Would you tend to use His name in a red hot string of cuss words next time you banged your thumb?”

Not-a-Christian:  “No, I’d be pretty careful to watch my mouth.”

Christian:  “What if he had some rules He would like you to live by, would you give Him a listen?”

Not-a-Christian:  “All right, but how does Jesus dying save me?”

Christian:  “He lived a perfect sinless life, never broke a single commandment, He is the only man to ever keep God’s law perfectly.”

Not-a-Christian:  “OK.”

Christian:  “God’s pronounced judgment on sin, all sin, is death. Jesus walked into the torture and the execution carrying the sins of sinners on His back. He paid a lot more than a million bucks to save you.”

Not-a-Christian:  “So what am I supposed to do?”

Christian:  “Talk to Him right now, tell Him you’re sorry, turn away from sinning, drop sin and leave it in the dust where it belongs.”

Not-a-Christian:  “That sounds impossible.”

Christian:  “Not if he gives you a new heart.”

Not-a-Christian:  “What does that mean?”

Christian:  “Do you feel like swearing using His name now?”

Not-a-Christian:  “No.”

Christian:  “Something is happening here, we did not meet by chance. Please think about what we have said. We probably won’t meet again, but I still care about you and want you to be OK. I want you to go to Heaven and not Hell.”

Not-a-Christian:  “Thank you.”

Christian:  “Are you going to talk to Him?”

Not-a-Christian:  “Yeah, sure.”

Christian:  “I hope you will do it soon, because people die all the time, and you cannot be sure you will wake up tomorrow, so please talk to Him right away.”

Not-a-Christian:  “I will.”

Christian:  “Thanks for listening.”

Not-a-Christian:  “Thank you.”

 

About the Author: A homeschool dad of three young men, R.E. Olsen takes his role of spiritual head of the household seriously. He also seeks to impart God’s truth to anyone who will listen.

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