Imagine that you found the perfect food at a nearby restaurant. It’s something new, with a name that you’re not sure how to pronounce, and – at first – you have to point at the menu to indicate what you want to order, because you don’t know how to pronounce it. This lunch is so great, though, that you go out to get it once or twice a week, and always order the same thing. The servers – and even the manager of the restaurant – get to know you by name, and welcome you with, “The usual, today?” (saving you from the awkward menu-pointing). The taste is so great that you can’t wait to make room in your schedule to stop by and order more food, but the meal is so filling that each time you finish one, even though you want more, your stomach forces you to to wait until you’re hungry again. Sure, it costs a little, but it’s the best return for your money all week.
Sounds pretty good, right? Eventually, though, you want to share your discovery with your friends. Most of them join you, and (once they experience the same taste sensation) start to frequent the same place, sometimes joining you for lunch. But one of them is just stubborn. As you – and an increasing number of others from your social circle – start to rave about your new find, this one friend insists that you’re all just making it up. All of your conversations end up with the claim that you’re all scamming him or her, and that this is just an elaborate fabrication.
Obviously, there’s a simple solution: for everyone to get together and go to lunch someday. That would easily clear things up, but your holdout friend insists that he or she doesn’t need to come with you to prove that you’re wrong…while still adamantly claiming that you’re just making it up.
You (and your other friends who are now joining you regularly for lunch) respond to the claim that “Pictures, or it didn’t happen” with all sorts of snapshots, as well as online reviews, Yelp postings, and even an old-school phone book that lists the name of the restaurant, with a drawing of the meal in question prominently displayed in their ad. Still, this reluctant friend remains firmly rooted in obstinance.
That might seem pretty weird, but let’s be honest: there are those who hear the statements of others today, including those of Jesus Christ, and remain firmly positioned in opposition to them. Sometimes, their resistance to belief is more than just a different point of view; it has become downright hostile.
This isn’t a series trying to target or denigrate that group of people, though. Let’s start tomorrow by addressing those who have a point of view, but simply don’t understand why others who haven’t experienced the same thing don’t agree with them. Specifically, I’d like to talk to Christians, here (although anyone in this situation – not understanding why others don’t come to the same conclusion as us – may find value in the same principles).