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Featured How can a Chinese Christian explain to nonbelievers, Christianity is not just a superstition?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by bling, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    I asked in my last thread about Christians being superstitious and got lots of answers about some Christians being superstitious. That was not what I was needing.

    I teach open minded highly interested non-Christian Chinese college students, who will most likely return to Communist China, Bible Lessons each week. They along with all their friends and family have been taught: “All religions are just superstitions”, but they are not buying into that, but how can they simply explain to their friends, the difference between a superstition and Christianity. Lots of people in China have crosses and even Bibles, but use them as good luck charms and they are not Christians.

    Their friends have not been given logical support showing Christianity is a superstition, but have not heard any support to show Christianity is not a superstition.

    What I am looking for is some one-minute thought provoking statement or question my students, who will become Christians, can give to their friend back in China that will open a dialog on Christianity.
     
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  2. Hammster

    Hammster 2019 Dundie Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    It’s the gospel that saves, not fancy explanations.
     
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  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Bling, I don't know that we can do that without knowing what claims have been made against Christianity.

    If it's simply "All religions are just superstitions," I would like, if I were you, to know with some specificity WHAT in Christianity is supposed to be superstition.

    Is the charge just a blanket condemnation with nothing in particular to back it up? Or, more likely, have some tales been told to these students that supposedly show superstitious practices engaged in by Christians? If it is the latter, you need to know what they are.
     
  4. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This ^^^ and... by simply reflecting Christ in their words and deeds. If somebody around you does not see and hear Christ in you... nothing else you say will matter!
     
  5. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I created a Blogger article that shows forth many evidences for the Word of God.
    You can check that out here if you are interested:

    Love Branch: Evidences for the Word of God
     
  6. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    @bling

    Here is one example of evidences that you might like from my Blogger article.
    It shows how the characters that make up written Chinese language is founded on the Bible.

     
  7. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    But of course. Tell them also of how Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and was risen from the grave three days later to save them from their sins and give them a new resurrected life. Tell them that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). This is the most important thing we can tell them above all things.
     
  8. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    One of the things I've decided after many years of trying to help people online get past their preconceptions -- years of trying to help them see with fresh eyes -- is that ultimately what works in the only way that really matters is what Christ says is the real thing, as He lays it out in Mark chapter 4. It's not our good reasoning, or helpful insights, that can really save someone, though we try to help in certain ways like those of course. Rather, in the end, the only true Help is finally just what Christ said: the word itself is the seed, the true seed. That's the only seed that grows to the real thing.

    Some other ideas could grow into their own plants. But only the true seed grows to the true fruit. So, I've realized that no matter how good of a helpful logjam breaking question or concept I might hope will help the right way is, it's not worth much compared to the true seed, which is simply the word of Christ.

    In other words, there is a kind of amazing good real answer: to let them hear some actual words of Christ, in unadulterated (not paraphrased or reduced) form.

    For instance, no matter what I'm saying, if I can include an exact quote of some central thing(s) Christ said, then something worthwhile has happened: seed has been put on ground.

    So, I might often, or quickly, sometimes only, simply quote a verse (it isn't needed to have a chapter reference always, though that's good if that's the way you are letting them know Who its from and where to look for more, but you somehow indicate to them where these words are from).

    One could even, depending on who you are talking to, use a question form, like:
    Who said "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies..."?

    Or a statement:
    Jesus is the one who said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

    Or an answer to a general kind of question people can ask, such as quite a few that can be answered with just a couple of verses
    --
    "If there is a God, why does he allow evil in the world?"
    or
    "If there is a God, then why do people die?"
    or
    "If there is a God, then why does he allow suffering in the world?"

    And tell them:
    Life does have suffering, and there is much evil that men to to one another, but God loved us even despite the wrongs we do, and God so loved all the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will gain eternal life. Even despite our wrongs, God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. He came to rescue us even where we were doing wrong.

    See, in order that it be seed that works, it needs to have the word.
     
  9. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    Superstitions are just made up on coincidence - like I did really well playing baseball yesterday wearing a certain pair of socks, so I'm going to wear those same socks today in order to play well today. Or the Knights Templar were arrested and purged on Friday the 13th, therefore it's an unlucky day for everybody. Not very sophisticated. Christian theology (and not just Christian theology) tends to be much more well thought out than that. Augustine and Aquinas cannot be reasonably compared to that. Even the more simplified Gospel, which includes the Resurrection accounts, cannot be reasonably compared to that.
     
  10. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Trying to convince someone intellectually or logically is not going to have the result you want. God has not allowed Himself to be known by human apprehension. An "intellectual christian" does not have the life changing indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    Our Lord said no one could come to Him unless drawn by the Father. John 6:44a

    How Paul approached it was this way:

    1 Corinthians 2:4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
     
  11. Hammster

    Hammster 2019 Dundie Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
    Romans 1:16-17

    Looks like some folks are ashamed.
     
  12. Lost4words

    Lost4words In reality, an old dog! Supporter

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    I think that without someone talking to them about God's word, the best way would be for them to get their friends, family etc, to sit down and read and digest God's word for themselves. Letting God enter their hearts and souls.

    Buy some bibles and distribute them with the emphasis on they really need some quality time reading scripture. Let God draw them close.
     
  13. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Christianity is about the supernatural, so how is Christian supernatural different than the supernatural in other superstitions?
    Does God help good Christians supernaturally?
    Lots of uneducated Chinese people are very superstitious, so if you become a Christian have you become superstitious like them?
     
  14. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi bling,

    Good on ya, for working with the Chinese to explain christianity. For me, it seems that the best way to turn someone away from thinking that christianity is some superstitious practice, it to go over some of the prophecies of the Scriptures.

    Find a way to explain when a particular prophecy was written: Now, you may come up against the belief that the fulfilled prophecies, while we claim that they were written well before they came to pass, they believe that they were actually added later after the event happened. This is where you would need to impress upon your hearer how the Jews have always held the Scriptures as dear and that if anyone had actually tried that, there would have been a hue and cry all up and down Israel. As I understand it, it would have been pretty much impossible for some scribe to have gone to some scroll of the Scripture that had been written 100 years before and attempt to add in a 'prophecy' concerning something that had just happened.

    But, I believe that if you can get your students to see how prophecies that were made, some hundreds of years before they came to pass, were fulfilled just as they were written to do some hundreds of years later, that would pretty much dispel any thinking that faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is just some superstitious practice. Many of these prophecies, in their fulfillment, cry out that there surely must be someone who knew that such an event was going to take place and certainly no man would be able to know these things.

    God bless,
    In Christ, ted
     
  15. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    But supernatural does not equal superstition. If I were in your place, I wouldn't give ground to that suggestion, if made.

    Of the many dictionary definitions we might turn to, most give a definition somewhat like this one:

    superstition, an irrational belief or practice resulting from ignorance or fear of the unknown. The validity of superstitions is based on belief in the power of magic and witchcraft and in such invisible forces as spirits and demons.

    This really doesn't define Christianity, which does not arise from fear of the unknown, does not engage in magic (that's in almost every online definition), and does not think that spirits, either good or bad, control our lives. On the contrary, we are persuaded first and foremost by a conviction that the Bible is accurate, a genuine account of actual events.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  16. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    The good news is everyone has the Bible and all my students have it on their phone and computers. The problem is when they go back home and getting Bibles. They use to be able to get a $2.00 bible from any registered church, but now the government want you to fill out a lengthy form. The on line Bibles are blocked in China, the content on their cell phones will be checked on entering china.
     
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  17. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    We talked about that and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
     
  18. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    I agree and I have been talking about Christianity be true, reality and logical, but sometime being God's Logic. I use only the Bible they all have and we do a chapter a week of Luke. I mostly just answer the questions they bring, by answering with a question and/or scripture.
    The statement they might first make to their friends is: "I am a Christian now, but I am not superstitious." But will be asked something like: "How are you not superstitious?"
     
  19. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Yeh, I just don't think anybody should give in to another's demand that they should prove a negative. We all know that this is illogical and unfair to ask.

    If someone wants to say that Christianity IS superstitious, he needs to explain why he thinks it so. But if we want to go with that challenge anyway, you are doing right to point to the Bible.

    It is not a legend or a set of sayings from some philosopher, like many religions are based on, but history--actually a remarkable story of the systematic development of a people and their values over many centuries--a history that has proven itself many times when critics have said that this or that part cannot be true (parting of the Red Sea, Noah's flood, the timing of Jesus' birth and death, etc.)
     
  20. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Paul also told us something so helpful when it seems that at times only a few or none visible will respond.

    It seems as if few or none believe at first --

    14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

    Romans 10 ESV
    (we want better verses 8-17 or of course all the chapter ourselves)
    -----------
    And there we have the most crucial thing of it: it's only the word of Christ that can really help them, and even when we don't see it happening (as Christ told us we cannot see it happen in Mark chapter 4). The Seed, the Word, grows in a time we do not know.
     
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