Unbelief: Dark-Heart Disease

What Is Dark-Heart Disease?

What Does This Mean for Christians?

Listen, Ask, and Pray

  1. Listen. Non-Christians have a deep-seated desire to be heard. Not argued with, but heard. This is both a testament to the truth of Scripture and an irony of unbelief. Scripture reveals that God made us to be listeners. Adam’s first task as a creature was simply to listen to the words of God. And that’s the call of God’s people throughout the Old and New Testaments, culminating with the eternal Word of God coming in the flesh. Salvation is a matter of hearing that Word. However, it’s ironic that non-Christians would want to be heard since they are not, in fact, listening to the clearest testimony from God himself in general and special revelation! Nevertheless, do them the grace that God has done to you: listen. Let them speak. And don’t just wait there for your turn, like a child second-in-line at the playground slide. Focus more on hearing them than on preparing your response. You can always ask for more time to come up with a thoughtful response.
  2. Ask. Asking questions is evidence of thoughtful listening. Draw out the person’s train of thought. There will be contradictions and problems with their definitions of who God is, who they are, and what the world is like. But there will also be biblical values that shine through — things that they long for and hope for and dream about. Those things are precious, for they are remnants of their ineffective war with God. You can’t live in God’s world and ignore him without borrowing from him. Those borrowing points may help you show how the God of the Bible offers more than they could imagine in relation to what they seek.
  3. Pray. You can’t perform divine heart surgery. Don’t pretend as if you can. In all likelihood, as was the case for me this week, the person will shut down and reject your words. They’ll be disinterested. They just won’t care to get into a full apologetic discussion. They won’t want what you have to offer. They’ll dismiss you as a simpleton who just hasn’t been enlightened by modern thought (oh, the irony!). It’s okay. Your work isn’t done. Now you get to pray. You get to ask God to perform the surgery despite the patient’s every refusal. Don’t dismiss the person and walk away to think of “better” things. If God did that with you, where would you be? Pray.

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