Monday, March 26, 2018

Alex Drops the Mic

Hello faithful readers! I know it's tiring to hear the same voice over and over (even when it's yours truly), so today we have a special guest blogger, Alex DiRoma. Alex is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, and has been serving with Burning Bush Communities for the last several months. We love him a lot, and are very proud of his growth as a disciple and his heart for Jesus.

One of the things that Burning Bush Communities wants to be about is inspiring disciples of Jesus to pursue the ministry passions that we believe he gives to all his people. Our brother Alex has a passion for thinking through intellectual challenges to faith in Christ, and I asked him to share a little today about his journey towards this passion . . .

Hello everyone! My name is Alex. I’m proud to say that I’ve been a part of BBC for the past few months and had the chance to join them in serving the community. Today, I want to share some of the ways that God has been at work in my life in the last couple years, particularly in drawing me back to Him and using the practice of Christian apologetics to revitalize my faith. To give you all a bit of context to my story, as early on as I can think of I remember growing up in church culture. I grew up in a Christian home, accepted Jesus at an early age, and attended a Christian church. Though there were the inevitable ebbs and flows of my faith, the background was most certainly there. Though there’s many different aspects I could focus on, I want to look at one in particular and hopefully give you all an idea of how the Lord has moved in my life. 

This portion of my story started off a few years ago- in a time when I wasn’t very close to God- I remember late one night I drove a friend home after work. Usually we talked about anything from friends, to football, to video games, etc. We were always able to talk about fun topics, but rarely anything too serious. Oddly enough, this night the conversation looked much different. He began talking about his life philosophy, his views on God and what he believed about the deep questions of life. Though he bordered on Agnosticism, he expressed his heartfelt thoughts and opinions and even barriers that kept him from taking Christianity seriously. In a state of mild shock, I listened for a good while and was deeply moved by his honest questions. He had some great inquiries and I could feel that he genuinely wanted to dive deeper into conversation. It was very frustrating for myself, though, because to that point in my life I’d never had to fully explain my faith in this manner and never really had to present a defense of my faith. 

Why should I trust in Jesus?

What makes him different than other gods?

Is there any real evidence of a resurrection?

How can a good God allow evil?

These were the types of questions I was confronted with that night. I tried my best to respond to them but still didn’t feel I answered them well nor did a particularly good job addressing his own worldview. This was only the start, though. It was the first of many instances during this period of time that this type of dialogue happened. Each time, I grew more and more anxious to learn how to address these questions. I knew in my heart that Jesus was the truth, but I didn’t know how to help others see that.

A few weeks later, during the middle of a sleepless night I was up surfing the internet for inspiration on how to re-spark my relationship with God. At one point I came across a number of Christian vs Atheist debates. Out of curiosity I clicked and watched. One video turned into two. Two turned into three. Three turned into four, and before I knew it I was glued to my computer screen for hours on end. I was amazed at how these people were able to defend their faith. I’d never seen someone engage another person like that and provide compelling reasons outside of scripture for believing. Looking back, I’m certain that God used that night to stir something in my heart. It was in the burning desire to answer the difficult questions of life for others and for myself that I began to reinvest in my faith. Now, normally the word “burden” has a negative connotation in our culture, but since that night I’ve felt a burden on my heart for sharing the truth with others. It’s been a driving force ever since then to speak the message of Jesus and the reasons for faith to others. 

Even to this day, that burden has stuck with me. Looking at our current culture, I see a need for it to be engaged with and for it to encounter authentic discussions of faith and truth. For most people it’s difficult to go directly from non belief to belief all in one sequence. This is where I believe apologetics can come in and play a vital role for others as it did for myself. Breaking down barriers, removing misconceptions and clarifying some of the complicated topics that keep people from truly understanding just who God is, is one of the many relevant things that apologetics can provide in our daily walks of life. I hope that through this story you can see some of the ways that God has worked in my life and how he can work through any of our weaknesses and imperfections.

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