Futility Recipe: Unbeatable Answers to Unasked Questions
Have you ever preached the Gospel on deaf ears? Are you frustrated by polite listeners who tuned you out after the word “Jesus?” Do you want to know how you can be better prepared the next time you share your faith?
This post will look at two futile scenarios:
- Sharing the Gospel with someone without explaining why we need Good News in the first place
- Explaining why war is sometimes necessary for peace
What Good News?
Falling away from their faith, or embracing staunch pacifism results from a few conditions:
- Receiving answers to questions they haven’t asked
- Not asking the right questions
They were all told about the Gospel. The “Good News.”
“Jesus died on a cross for your sins. You’ve been forgiven.”
To which they replied, “Forgiven? For what?”
If this is the first information someone hears about Christianity, it is not just nonsensical. It’s silly.
- Why is it that I want to do X, but instead I do Y?
- Why is it that I know what is right, but I do what is wrong?
- Why am I so wretched?
They don’t know the bad news.
The Bad News
- All have sinned against a Holy and just God. We cannot remedy ourselves, as hard as we try. The sentence we deserved for the depravity we hold in our hearts is eternal separation from all that is good and Holy (otherwise known as hell).
The feel-good Gospel of a wonderful plan, health, wealth, and prosperity is not the message Jesus commanded us to take to every nation and tongue.
True decisions to follow the word of God only comes from a repentant heart after the recognition of our own brokenness. Being broken is bad news.
Very bad news.
Only with this understanding will a person see the goodness in the news you bring them.
War and Peace
Some people support the military, but are uncomfortable with military action.
They are told the good news:
“Our military is powerful and prepared to wage war whenever necessary. The military will keep you safe. ”
They reply, “Safe from what? If we left everyone alone, we wouldn’t need a military.”
They haven’t asked whether or not evil can be eliminated from the human heart.
Evil forever lurks in the hearts of men and women.
When absent a worldview which includes ultimate eternal justice, humans tend to slide further into depravity. But not everyone agrees that people tend to go bad.
Some people believe that if everyone is left alone, then a new era of peace and harmony will descend upon all of humanity. As nice as this scenario would be, events in every era of human existence suggests this claim is false.
We Are Good. Really?
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U.S. officials have been attacked for the involvement in the recent wars in the Middle East. But these are wars we have been fighting forever.
More specifically, we went to war against an idea, ideology, a worldview.
We went to war against people who celebrate the indiscriminate killing of non-combatants as a righteous act of obedience.
Their acts are more highly exalted if you are an American on American soil. If you are an American, you represent freedom and liberty. Freedom and liberty are a threat to those whose religious and political goals are achieved through violence and intimidation.
Lesser Means Have Failed
Freedom and liberty threaten the power of despots and dictators. Prussian General and war theorist Carl von Clausewitz famously defined war as politics by other means.
The world tried to prevent Hitler from executing his Final Solution. Then the world used other means.
The world tried to prevent Saddam Hussein from invading Kuwait. Then the world used other means.
The world tried to prevent terrorists from living out a worldview which condones violence and murder towards innocents. Now the world is using other means.
If you think war is never the answer, you’re probably asking the wrong question.
If you ask “How can we achieve world peace?” then to answer “By fighting a war” sounds not just nonsensical. It sounds silly.
Men and women elected into office are forced to ask a different question:
“How can we stop evil men and women when all lesser means have failed?”
In this context, the other means become a last resort when the other politics fail.
Peace should always be the ultimate aim of politics. But as long as evil exists in the hearts of men and women, war will be a dirty part of securing a lasting peace.
Photo credit: Teeejayy / CC BY 2.0
Photo credit: Andrew McCluskey / CC BY 2.0
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About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.