I was listening to a drama on Radio 4 this morning, and at one point in the conversation, one of the characters was trying to explain why she was so frustrated that things in her life were not working out as she’d hoped and that she didn’t know what to do about it. Then she said:
“It’s hard to believe in God when… you know… you don’t”
I’ve been working on an article about trying to explain what we as Christians believe to Muslim women. While I firmly believe that they have their right to choose what they will believe and what faith they will follow, I want them to know what the choices are. The point of my article is to explore how I suspect they reject my beliefs because they don’t understand it, rather than because they disagree.
Let them disagree. But don’t let them misunderstand.
Similarly, I am often amazed by how people try to preach God to people who don’t believe in God. Human nature is to take one of two approaches:
1- Try to prove God exists, which is an impossible endeavour because, when it comes to God, you can prove anything. I know one guy who has proved God exists and another who has proved God doesn’t exist. You have to choose to believe God exists if you want to be convinced God exists.
2- Quote God to make an argument. Quoting God to someone who doesn’t believe in God isn’t going to be very convincing.
So what do we do? Well, I believe we need to listen to each other before we can speak to each other. Why doesn’t that woman on the Radio 4 drama not believe in God? What is weighing on her heart to make such a comment in the first place? Talk about that.
If I do that, it will be a more interesting conversation and hopefully as I understand what she is REALLY thinking, I’ll be able to respond. And if I respond, maybe she’s understand what I believe.
So, now that I’ve taken this lovely break here, I will go back to my article… trying to figure out how to explain what I believe to my friends who believe something different. So we’re talking, really talking. So they can disagree with me, and I can disagree with them, with intellectual pride and honour.