On paper I don't have much in common with teenage skater boys. There's the age gap, the coordination gap, the culture gap...the list goes on. During my time in England, I inherited a legacy of skate and Christian outreach. Unexpectedly (like so many other parts of my journey), I found that God gave me a great love for these young men.
Last week, I sat on a panel to answer these questions for twenty mostly atheist skater boys:
1. What makes you believe in God?
2. Do you think science disproves God?
3. What about the Big Bang theory, does that disprove God?
4. Why doesn’t He speak back to me when I pray?
5. If you could ask God one question what would it be?
6. If God is so loving, why do bad things happen, i.e., war, suffering, sickness?
7. Why does God allow people to fight each other in His name when fundamentally they believe the same thing?
8. How can you love people who do horrible things?
9. Who created God?
The boys wrote the questions and I was one of three on the panel to give short, clear answers. These are challenging questions, to say the least. Whole books have been dedicated to these topics, as great men and women of God have wrestled with them. And in less than thirty minutes, we attempted to answer all nine questions from three perspectives.
He walked alongside those He loved, through their doubts and confessions, in their questions and wrestlings.
I was reminded yet again of the way that the Gospel is a bridge. It bridges the gap between God and man, between heaven and hell, between sin and salvation. It reaches past our cultural gaps, our histories and perspectives, and unifies us as one human race, desperately in need of a Savior, radically shaped by grace.
Over the course of the past month, I've had the joy of seeing several young people commit their lives to Christ. I still believe wholeheartedly that "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 ESV
Yet I realize this: if you have never had any context of faith, any knowledge of Christ, any teaching from His Word, the confession of faith is the first step onto the bridge. We are God's children from the moment we receive Him, but utter transformation is not an instant process.
Our God is a missionary God. He didn't just speak the way of salvation, but came and lived among us. He came in an unexpected way to an unexpected culture, and loved radically. He was Himself the answer to every question. He walked alongside those He loved, through their doubts and confessions, in their questions and wrestlings.
Today, our missionary God sends His people to do the same. The Gospel is a bridge. We have the joy of proclaiming a God who came to us and journeys with us. Forever.