Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Good conversations. (Don't you love them?)

The past couple of days, I've spoken about a situation on-campus at Texas A&M University.  A man named Brother Jed has continued to preach lies and deceit about the Gospel, causing both atheists and Christians to react with anger.  Some friends and I decided to go and quietly pray for God to show His glory through all of the chaos, but when we arrived, we saw that He already had.

Conversations were taking place... good conversations.  The true Gospel was being shared and people of different viewpoints were patiently listening to each other and ignoring Brother Jed, who continued to shout at passersby and cause a great commotion.

After a while, Rebecca and Lauren had to leave, but I decided to stick around and see if I could engage in any of these fruitful conversations.  I wasn't ready to go just yet.  I was filled with fire and excitement and joy.  For a few more minutes, I stood and listened to what Brother Jed was saying.  Occasionally, he would speak a word of truth, but then he would sprinkle everything he had just said with an outrageous and hateful lie.

"What do you think about all this?" a young girl with brown hair and wide eyes asked me, approaching me with a friendly smile.

"I'm a Christian," I said, "but I certainly do not agree with what this man is saying."

"Neither do I.  I'm a Christian too.  What is it you don't agree with?"  And we began to discuss. 

A few minutes later, we were approached by two more girls who introduced themselves to us with friendly smiles.  They were Christians, but they actually agreed with Brother Jed and supported him.  "He may not be accurate in everything he says," one girl said by way of explanation, "but at least he's standing up and sharing the Gospel.  I'm all for what he's doing.  I think it's great."  We gently debated them, but there was no arguing or quarrels.  When the girls left us, we shook hands and bid farewells with smiles on our faces.  We disagreed, but we respected each other.  There was peace in our conversation, not anger.

Soon after, I noticed a friend of mine from a Bible study, James.  He was having a conversation with a young man named Adam who was wearing a shirt that said "Ask an Atheist."  Instead of preaching at Adam and arguing with him, James was sitting quietly and listening to what he had to say.  "Tell me where you are, man," James said.  "I want to hear your story."  So Adam spoke.

Soon, three more Christian girls, another young man, and another atheist joined in the conversation.  Some sat cross-legged on a brick wall and some stood.  We brushed arms and spoke sincerely... and we listened.  The atheists would ask us questions and we would try our best to answer.

Adam didn't understand the concept of faith.  He could not bring himself to believe in a God he couldn't 100% prove.  He'd read the Bible, he liked the idea of Christianity, but he could not comprehend what faith actually meant.

Soon, it began to rain hard.  The wind was blowing mercilessly and lightening flashed above our heads, but the conversations didn't end.  Umbrellas were opened, and my heart warmed when I saw an atheist give his umbrella to a Christian girl... and when I saw people of different beliefs gather shoulder-to-shoulder under a single umbrella.  We continued our conversations for a little while longer, not ready to say goodbye just yet.  Mostly, we let the atheists standing in front of us know that we were sincerely interested in what they had to say and that we wanted to hear their side of the story.  We let them speak and gently answered their questions.  When they excused themselves from the conversation, everyone shook hands.

As Adam turned to leave, I spoke his name.  He turned back around to face me and I saw a look of wariness enter his eyes.  "Thank you for being kind and sharing your story, Adam," I said.  Relief flooded his face, and he smiled and nodded.

The rain was increasing, so a couple of Christian guys and I fled to a nearby building.  We sat on the stair steps for another half-hour and shared Bible passages with each other.  When I finally had to go, I didn't mind the rain that literally soaked through my hair and clothes in a matter of moments.  The weather was refreshing and rejuvenating.

I felt a sense of great joy.  God had taken victory on campus that day.  He'd turned a situation of anger and hatred into one of peace and love.  Satan meant to use Brother Jed to turn people away from Christ, but instead, his lies were used to create conversations that were used for good

The day was a success.  All I could feel was joy and thankfulness for God's mighty power.


  1. WOW!!!! That is so cool, I am so happy you had a chance to talk to others about faith. I think it is great. I want to be a missionary, so I think that it is great I wish I could have been there.
    It is so sad that brother Jeb is so lost, we can only pray that he will learn the truth.

    Thank you for sharing Emily!

  2. Thanks for sharing! :D

  3. This kinda reminds me of your post about praying for your conversations :)