A critic of Jesus Christ, the Man in and through and as God has revealed Himself to humankind says to Jennifer, a Christian woman who is wrestling with a fierce cancer, “So what’s your explanation of this; How do you explain this cancer experience if God loves you?”
“I don’t explain it,” she said with a steady gaze at her well-educated critic, “I don’t feel the need to ‘explain’ it so I don’t attempt it. In any case people like you are never satisfied with an explanation. Next there’s your: ‘But what about ..’ “You ask an endless string of questions. There’s no end.”
“So you don’t have an answer for this awful pain you and countless others endure?”
“You don’t listen well, do you,” Jennifer a Christian woman said. “I didn’t say I didn’t have an answer. I have an answer. I didn’t even say I have no ‘explanation’. I said I didn’t feel the need to ‘explain’ so I don’t waste my time ‘explaining,’ to an uncaring enemy who would have no time for an ‘explanation’ even if I offered one.”
“I’m not your enemy and I do care for you.” the well-educated man began to say before she interrupted him. “Of course you are my enemy! I have more respect for Hitchens who insisted he was an enemy of believers in Jesus Christ. You can’t take my life from me but you would take from me what gives my living meaning and inner assurance and peace. You would do it to me and countless others; to the young and old, the living and the dying, the bereaved and those who have just begun to build a life of love together in marriage that will produce much-loved children. You deny justice to multiplied millions in generations gone who died in misery beyond belief at the hands of depraved and heartless tryrants.” You say there’s no justice for them.
“I’m not your enemy and I do care. I’m just offering you truth.”
And why would I believe you? Why would I believe you are a lover of truth? What if I believe you adore yourself as a bold thinker who while you might use ‘logic’ well at times your aim is to gain a name for yourself? I might believe it isn’t truth you love but what ‘truth’ (knowledge) might gain for you—a reputation and praise. Why would I think you are a lover of truth when you openly make yourself an enemy of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who was and is the embodiment of Truth?”
“Well, so you don’t have an answer for why God allows you to suffer this way if he loves you.”
She had some difficulty breathing but no difficulty believing in God and so she said, “Listen to yourself; you ‘truly’ care for me but when you’re in the right company you sneer and jeer at what I have believed and lived by all my life; you sneer and jeer at what has given me strength and peace through many difficult times and losses and you gloat at how you can ask questions that silence Christians or at least make them fumble for adequate responses to your brilliant logic. You do all this and more to me and a numberless host but you ‘truly care’ for me.”
The enemy said, “But surely it’s better to accept truth than nonsense or at least ‘unprovable’ stories and dogmas.”
“You mean it’s better to accept your ‘truth’ though it ends with: ‘All is pointless. Humans exist as a result of chance and they must accept the ‘truth’ that humankind will perish as pointlessly as they appeared. They are each a bag of reacting bio-chemicals whose ‘highest thoughts are nothing but chemical reactions’ (Weinberg, Wolf Singer, pathetic Sam Harris and co.). That’s the ‘truth’ you say humankind would be better with?”
The enemy sighed and rose to end the meeting, “I’ve been totally insensitive; I’ve taken advantage of you in your illness, expecting you to be able to give me an answer under the circumstances and off the cuff. I need to go, I have a lecture to deliver at an acclaimed academic gathering.”
Jennifer, a Christian woman, managed something of a chuckle and said, “You really are ignorant aren’t you despite your education! You think you have taken me unprepared for people like you? People like you have been jeering and sneering at us for two thousand years and one of our brothers, Peter, speaking by the Spirit of Christ, said, “Always be ready to give an answer to those that ask you a reason for the hope that is in you in Jesus Christ…”
People like me have been ready to deal with enemies like you from the beginning. Everything you people say ends up wrecked on the Rock that we know to be Jesus of Nazareth, the now resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Big-hitters’ like you asked Peter questions about the truth (Acts 4:1-13) and while a once-crippled ‘Bo Jangles’ danced in the temple, they gave an answer that was: “the risen Jesus Christ.”
Often we waste our time trying to show you that your ‘truths’ are shallow as well as illogical and self-contradictory. But in our wisest and happiest moments, together we reflect on Him and hope in Him. Our answer, in the end, can be summarized with Paul’s, “Now is Jesus Christ Risen!” or with Peter’s’, “You slew Jesus but God raised Him from the dead…because it was not possible for Death to hold Him.”
And to his fellow-believers he said: “You have been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, to an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you…”
I don’t know why we spend time speaking one to another about all this. Your ‘truth’ is: we are just two bags of bio-chemicals. So, off you go now and parrot words you learned from those before you who parroted words they heard from those before them who parroted words…….sigh.
We credit you as more than you call yourselves but at best you’re an ‘amateur’ as the firm believer GB Caird remarked. Everyone is an amateur.
But you! Your faith is that you are a bag of mindless reacting and chemicals yet you strut as if you weren’t. You’re not a ‘thinker’—your faith is, “I am a bag of reacting chemicals.” ‘Thought’ is nothing but a chemical reaction. There is no “I” that thinks—there is only a chemical reaction that reacting chemicals call “thinking”. So go to your acclaimed Academic meeting and ‘react’ there the chemical reaction that other chemical reactions trigger in you.
Our answer to you when we have the good sense and time to talk to you is one name: JESUS OF NAZARETH! ‘Explain or react that truth truthfully to yourself.”
JimMcGuiggan Jennifer the Apologist