Question:

Hi,

I'm taking a Bible class that aids in helping brothers and sisters spread God's Word. As part of an assignment, we were to ask a non-member of the church the following:

  • What interest you the most?
  • Is the Bible from God?
  • Is Jesus God?
  • Will most go to heaven?

Well I asked my aunt this and she responded with the following:

"The truth is none of these questions interest me. I'm more interest in knowing myself. I'm hungry for knowledge of self because without it I'm lost in this world run by the so-called Jews. I read my Bible like it's my history book. God made me in His image, so when I look in the mirror I see God. Sorry, my beliefs are different from yours, but I'm digging for the truth, not fundamentalism. We need to ask ourselves why do the Romans worship the black Madonna and child? Why they don't teach us about the drawing on the walls in Kemit? Why the Statue of Liberty has been changed with European features with shackles still on her feet? Why black history starts with slavery, when everything around the Nile River and the kingdom of Cush is Africa, and when the Africians first came over here they were called gods?

So how should I respond to this? I wasn't expecting a response like this from her. This sounds like Nation of Islam material. I don't want to become argumentive, but I would like to respond with sincerity and to let her see the truth at the same time.

Thanks.


Answer:

When teaching someone, you have to start from where they are at. The exercise showed you something that many people never realize. You can know a person all your life, and then realize you didn't really know her. You can't teach someone based on what you assume they believe.

What I would suggest is start with her claim that she is looking for truth. Now it is clear to you and I that truth to her is whatever she wants to believe, but see if you can pin her down that truth is independent of people and that it must be based on a standard which can be verified or checked. Perhaps start with Pilate's question: "What is truth?" And Jesus statement that brought up the question: "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice" (John 18:37-38).

The point of teaching the Gospel is leading people to the truth. It is not about proving that you are right or that they are wrong. Your aunt make numerous false statements, but knocking her over the head with that fact isn't necessarily going to get her to listen. So use her words to generate interest in the real truth (John 17:17). If she accepts the truth, then she will naturally turn away from the falsehoods she has been accepting. But keep in mind that despite her words, she might not really be interested in the truth (II Thessalonians 2:9-12). You won't be able to convince everyone, but everyone desires a chance to hear the truth.