Friday, January 24, 2014

Christ is Better [Jay Watts]

Last year I was blessed to participate in an apologetics conference and panel discussion with Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason and Bob Stewart of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Monroe, LA. After we all responded to the woman who asked the last question of the night, Greg told me that he loved the answer that I offered and wanted to share the audio on his radio show. The audio recording was not great and as a result it cannot be shared, but, given Greg's enthusiasm for the answer and my great admiration for his judgment, I decided to post it. My wife transcribed it for me, and I edited it to make it a little easier to read and a little clearer given the lack of context. Both Bob and Greg answered before me, and the conversation included references to people losing their livelihood or having it threatened in order to be true to their commitments to their faith. It was meaningful to many people that night including Greg, so I decided it might be worth preserving.

Question by a woman in the audience: It's a burning question on my heart tonight when you say we need to brace ourselves. What can we do to teach our children, other than bring them to things like this, teach them in our homes how to speak truth? How to love people for Christ? What can we do to make a difference to see America be a shining light for Christ again? I know that's a really general question, but that's a burning question on my heart. I don't want to just brace myself. I want to be a part of this generation. I want my children to be a part of this generation to see our nation be a truthful and a Godly nation again. ... What can we do on an individual basis to turn our nation around?

My answer after both Greg and Bob responded: I want to be clear that I am answering this as Jay, not LTI. This is a personal question; I'll answer it personally. As a brother in Christ raising kids, my son and my two daughters, as a husband, as a member of a church and all those duties normal to our lives.

I was recently asked at a talk, what is your quick witness, your quick testimony. Well, when I was a hostile young atheist, a particular Christian finally loved me and ministered to me in such a way as to make Jesus a live option. Prior to that I wouldn't even consider him because I hated Christians and they hated me, I was prejudiced against Jesus. This one young woman lived a life of faith that I didn't hate, and that I didn't want to destroy. Her impact placed Jesus on the table for consideration as I sorted through my understanding of the world.

I looked at Christ and I liked Christ better. I like Christ better than the world. I'm not afraid of the world; I reject it. I reject it for Him. That is what my wife and I teach our children. Jesus is better than the world that attacks us for our faith in him.

And it doesn't matter how badly things go; I continue to reject the world for him because he's better. His grace, his mercy, his love, his strength, his power; he is better than them all in every way. He refuses to let the world make him into what the world wants to make him into. He stands before it with the power and authority of God. And he gives to us; empowers us with the ability to be what we ought to be in this world.

So I take heart not in the idea that everything is going to go well, or that this world is going to change, or that America's going to reform, or anything of that nature. When I look at my children, I make sure that my son knows, my daughter knows, and even our youngest, as we start to educate her, knows: We're not afraid of the world. We reject the way they live; we don't hide from it. We don't sit in our house and fear it's going to get to us. We stand before it and we represent Christ in front of it, to it, because He's better.

And no matter how many of them come at you and tell you that you have to get your beliefs in line with theirs, and if you disagree with them they're going to take your job and make your life terrible, and that you're a horrible person; He's still better than all of them. And so I will stand with Him until this is all over.

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