Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Not answering the question?

Common non-responses to Q1 on our questionnaire: "Quelles idées as-tu concernant Dieu?" [What ideas do you have about God?]

"Je ne suis pas trés croyant" [I'm not much of a believer.]
This pre-answer can stand for one or a mixture of several sentiments: "I'm apologising that I'm about to show my ignorance since I've just realised your questionnaire is about God" (I had said it was about student beliefs... but there we go); "I'm apologising because I'm not going to give you Roman Catholic answers, we're in an RC university and I assume you want RC answers"; "I'm apologising that you (poor person) are presumably a practising RC and I'm about to not say what I assume you want to hear."
'Je ne suis pas trés croyant' - Ah, let's start discussing then! If you could see Jesus then you'd be saying, "I believe; help my unbelief!" It's the Holy Spirit's work to give that faith, to open those eyes to see the glory of Christ - so I'm really happy to continue on with this questionnaire: please don't say, "I'm not much of a believer" to dismiss investigating it! [Obvious NB: I don't of course say that - I usually probe for what they're thinking of when they say they don't believe in it: so God, does he exist? What's he like? and we run from there.]

"Je crois en Dieu mais je suis pas trés pratiquant"
This response is very common in Belgium.
[<- Caption: I believe in the existence of this glass; unfortunately I'm not a practising drinker!] This response means that the person does not believe in God. It's not rocket science. The revelation of the one true God when accompanied by the gift of faith does not result in 'I believe but I don't practise' - I believe but I don't do anything about it. It leads to falling on your face in adoration enabled by the application of the work of Christ by the Holy Spirit. It results in repentence and the obedience of faith. It results in life: life-transformation, relationship transformation, work transformation. It results in turning from your idols to serve the true and living God and to wait for his Son from heaven, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. It brings an explosion of "Everybody: look at GOD! How great, how glorious, how gracious! How worthy of praise! He offered his Son to bring us to him! Praise him, all you nations!"

I have only one sympathy with this response: that by 'practising' they're probably thinking 'doing stuff the RC institution says a believer in God is supposed to do'. That is the soul-destroyapostasytacy of framing the gospel in works and hedging gospel life with works. They turn from works, recognising their worthlessness as a system of salvation and rather than knowing to turn to the grace of God, they make up a God of their own imagination.

I might post more interesting questionnaire responses in due course.

1 comment:

mallangong said...

Keep preaching the gospel. Grace, grace, grace as Andy would say. Just been reading about Luther and Edwards. Guess you could sum them both up by, preached the gospel to people who believed in salvation by works, had a hard time because of it, people got saved.

Thank God for the Reformation.