“Filled with food, fun, and LOTS of water, Streetwise Day Four was nothing short of exceptional. Starting off the morning with another session lead by Sean McDowell, our team had the opportunity to learn about questions nonbelievers and skeptics may be inclined to asking Christians. Talking about the specific question, “If God is real, why is there evil?” Sean spoke about how evil is like rust on pure metal. Rust can only exist if pure metal first exists. Rust is the corruption of the pure metal. Similarly, evil is a corruption of good. Without the idea of what is good, there is no idea of what is evil. Just like rust, good can exist without evil, but it is impossible for evil to exist without good. Even further, he spoke about how the idea of good only makes sense if you bring God into the picture. This, statistically speaking, means that the problem of evil is good proof that there is a God in the universe.
The second half of our session revolved around things that skeptics wish Christians would know, both in aspects of relation and content. The first specific topic Sean spoke on was that of bad impressions that Christians tend to leave on nonbelievers. There were three bad impressions: hypocrisy, don’t take their religion seriously, and inconsistency in the faith. As often as I feel like we hear this of Christians, it really struck me that we aren’t doing the job we need to be doing. We need to be leading our lives lovingly and gracefully, not criticizing others for their beliefs, but hearing their stories and treating them like the children of God that they are. Instead, we tend to preach at them, treating them like projects who are completely in the wrong, which puts us in the wrong.
This leads to the next topic Sean talked about: How to improve interactions with skeptics. The first point he made was to listen. Plain and simple. All week one of the biggest emphasis was on sharing the gospel and forming relationships with people by LISTENING. As naturally selfish people, all we want to talk about is what do WE think, and what do WE believe? Hardly do we take the time to actually think about the other person’s feelings and hear what they might believe and why they believe that. This week I’ve really been convicted by this. So often I find myself only thinking that this person needs Jesus, so I’ll shove Jesus down their throats until they believe, which is such a terrible idea to have. Asking questions gracefully and listening to their answers intently results in relationships, which can lead to spiritual conversations, that, if lead in the right manner, can even lead to a seed planted or a decision for Christ.
After sitting through the session and learning so much about apologetics, we had the ability to be trained in how to lead our “Splash Party” for kids and families in the Kensington neighborhood surrounding Urban Hope. The church was able to literally close down the block to allow for outdoor water games and a presentation of the Gospel on the street in front of tons of kids and their families! Our team definitely had a blast getting soaked with a bunch of kiddos while simultaneously showing them the love of Jesus. The Splash Party was definitely a great step into a week full of leading some of the same kids in a VBS along with the rest of our team that arrives on Sunday night!”
– Anna Muntin