Does it Matter What We Believe?

Islam Christian DiscussionIn a Peanuts comic strip, Linus and Charlie Brown are engaged in serious conversation.

“I have a theological question,” says Linus, “When you die, and go to Heaven, are you graded on a percentage or on a curve?”

“On a curve, naturally,” Charlie responds.

Linus is clearly puzzled and asks, “How can you be so sure?”

Cheerfully Charlie answers, “I’m always sure about things that are a matter of opinion.

Today we live in an age when everything is regarded as a matter of opinion.  Especially in the area of religion.  And even more so regarding Christianity.  Our culture doesn’t mind if you hold to Christian beliefs.  As long as you hold them!  To yourself!  Quietly!  And without any opposition with those whom you differ.

In the early days of Christianity it was different.  The apostles and preachers of the first century boldly proclaimed their faith in Jesus in spite of Greek  idolatry, rampant immorality, and Emperor-worship.  In fact they engaged in discussion, dialogue, and even debate.

For example when Paul went into the city of Athens in Acts 17 he saw the people “wholly given” to idolatry.  Historians record that the Greeks worshiped as many as 30,000 gods and goddesses in their mythology. Socrates said that it was easier to find a god in Athens that a man.

In the event they missed some gods, they erected an altar “to the unknown god.”  As Paul walked through Athens and saw all of these idols the scripture says, “his spirit was provoked within him.”  Instead of saying, “Everyone has the right to their own opinion,” he confronted them. Reasoned with them.  And preached to them.  He preached in the synagogue.  The marketplace.  And in the Areopagus, also called “Mars Hill.”

Paul challenged the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers’ gods.  He began with this premise. “For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you (Acts 17;23-24).  Paul then proclaimed that Jehovah God is the God of creation.  He is a God of personal involvement.  He is a God who calls people to repentance.  And He is a God of judgment.

Paul engaged those who differed in honorable discussion.  Thoughtful discourse.  And logical application.  It worked in the first century.  And it will work today in spite of political correctness.

In fact, a discussion of differences will be taking place in Morgantown, West Virginia, April 15 and 16 on the UWV campus.  Sohail Chaudhry, an Islamic Iman will be engaged in a religious discussion with Andrew Roberts, a Christian, from Columbia, Tennessee.  The two evenings with feature these topics:

 Monday. April 15, 6-8 pm

  “Two World Religions, Two Books (the Bible & the Qur’an” )

Tuesday, April 16, 6-8 pm

 “The Christian View of Jesus & the Islamic View of Jesus.”  

More details regarding the discussion are provided on the above graphic.

If you are within driving distance of Morgantown, I recommend you attend these discussions.  It is a unique opportunity.  And an occasion to engage in honest discussion regarding religions that greatly differ.

I have total confidence in Andrew Roberts.  He worked with me in a preaching internship for two summers at Jackson Heights in Columbia.  Subsequently, he moved to work with the church on a full-time basis.  He is a careful student of the Bible.  He understands the Islamic religion. (In fact, he has written a book about it) And he will be kind and considerate in his presentation of truth.

As a prelude to this discussion the Glen Oaks church in Morgantown has invited Phillip Mullins, who preaches in the WashingtonD.C. area,  and myself to speak on Sunday.  We will each be presenting the following lessons.

April 14, Sunday AM

“A Short History of Islam – What the Story Tells Us” Phillip Mullins

“How to be Culturally Relevant and Biblically Correct” –Ken Weliever 

April 14, Sunday PM

“Guideposts to Faith in a New Age: The Acts 17 Model”  –Ken Weliever

“Meeting Muslims in a Modern Context”  –Phillip Mullins

Please pray for this effort.  Let others know about it. And if you are able to come to Morgantown, you will profit from an honest discussion between two different  religions.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

14 Comments

Filed under Religion, Uncategorized

14 responses to “Does it Matter What We Believe?

  1. Karen Ausburn

    Ken, Will CDs be available of the discusssion and following lessons? I would be very interested in obtaining them!

  2. I would be interested in the outcome…your statement, “Paul engaged those who differed in honorable discussion. Thoughtful discourse. And logical application. It worked in the first century. And it will work today in spite of political correctness.” draws me in! Paul is one of my favorite people in the Bible.

  3. Jim

    Will this be recorded on video which would be great for those who cannot attend. Our prayers are with Andrew a very special young man.
    Jim and Renee Gerteis

  4. Dianne Waldron

    Will this be televised or live stream or any way to watch it or even a recorded way to hear this? I know this will be very interesting! Thank you, Dianne Waldron.

  5. Lillie Barron

    Lillie Barron…Will this be available for those of us who live to far to attend. Certainly hope so. I enjoy your daily messages.

  6. Don Elliott

    I am so excited about this. I know that Andrew will do an outstanding job and do it with due humility. I wish I could be there. His book is an excellent study. I am currently translating it to Spanish to further the Lord’s people’s knowledge in this area. The Muslim culture is growing world wide. They invaded Spain in 711 and were not driven out until 1492 and now are trying another type of invasion.

  7. Akaninyene Robert

    “A reply to Muslim” is also a good material for such discussion.

    • Tim

      Hope things go well for the furtherance of truth in Morgantown!
      The discussion will be on the WVU campus, not UWV 🙂

  8. Joyce Jamerson

    God bless all who are involved in this defense of Gods truth! Especially Andrew. Praying for calm and clarity, knowing he is well informed and well studied.

    Joyce Jamerson “God is the strength of my heart,” Psalm 73:26

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