Embarrassed to Believe

I was invited to speak to a youth group somewhere in the wilds of northern Alabama. Another speaker had been there a few weeks before. Apparently he created more doubt than faith. So the teens sent me a list of questions. One went like this: “What does the Bible say about dinosaurs, and were there any on Noah’s ark?” I answered as best I could, and then one of the parents got up to speak. He was red in the face. I could tell he wasn’t happy. “How can you teach our kids that man and dinosaurs lived together? They’re going to be embarrassed in school if they believe that.”

My first reaction was this: Why are you hogging the stage? This was meant to be for teens, not angry parents. But I knew where the dad was coming from. The speaker who preceded me was fond of making the same point: if we teach our kids to take Genesis seriously, we will make them into victims. Yes, that’s his word exactly – “victims.”

Here’s the problem: the world wants us to be ashamed for what we believe.

  • Do we really think that a Man was in the grave three days, and yet lives?
    The world throws insults and medical books at us.
  • Do we really believe that Adam and Eve were enticed to sin by a talking serpent?
    The world snickers.
  • Do we really want to blame sin and suffering on two people who decided to take a bite out of a piece of fruit?
    The world sneers at the “injustice” of two people bringing pain and death on everyone else.

This is nothing new. The cross has always been foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:20-25). And yet we know and we confess that Jesus had to die a real death to save us from our real sins. If Eden wasn’t real, then Calvary was a waste of time. But do we really want to say, as Christians, that Jesus’ death on the cross was a waste of time? Paul was afraid that the church in Corinth had made this very mistake. They were too smart, too sophisticated, too well-educated to believe in a personal, bodily resurrection. But if we won’t be raised, Paul wondered, why did the Father bother raising His Son from the grave? And if Christ has not been raised, we are wasting our time and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).

Paul goes on to say this: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (vs. 22). If the apostle is talking about a make-believe Adam, should we also confess a make-believe Christ and walk around with a make-believe faith? Surely not. More to the point, will we let the world shame us out of our eternal reward? Again, definitely not. If the shame is going to fall anywhere, let it fall on hardened hearts. As for the faithful, “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16).

© 2009 – 2010, Trevor Major. All rights reserved.

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