Jed Smock on Open Theism Having Answers

Posted on Jed Smock’s Facebook page:

April 16, 2014, Indiana University,

There were two groups, who claimed to have reserved the area under the clock; one was the secularist society. I started preaching in another area; I gained an audience of one boy, who quietly listened. Cole told me that he had recently experienced a baptism of fire and was determined to put Christianity into practice in his life. John the Baptist promised that the one who came after him “shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Few talk about the fire baptism today. I experienced it shortly after I was converted and I have been burning ever since.

The atheist called out to me and invited me to come preach close to him, which I did at the next break. He said, “Brother Jed, you are good advertising for us.” He had a large colorful sign which read, “ASK AN ATHEIST? Where does morality come from? Where did the universes come from? Is it reasonable to believe in God?”

Again at the second break I gathered an audience of one other than the atheist. This girl kept firing good questions at me and she actually was listening to my answers. However, after about 30 minutes her “boyfriend” came and whisked her away. I referred to him as Satan.

At the next break I lifted my banner, which lists various sins popular among college students. I also preached from a front page article in the Indiana Daily Student, entitled, “Deadly silence.” A large picture showed 1100 back packs spread on the lawn, which represented the 1100 students, who annually die by suicide. The exhibition was sponsored by “Send Silence Packing.” In the article psychologist, Chris Meno, claimed, “The number one cause of suicide is untreated depression.” I countered, “Suicide, which might better be called self-destruction or self-murder is not caused; it is chosen.” Meno wanted the “stigma against mental health to be stopped.” I countered, “The problem is not mental health; it is mental unhealthiness, which is the result of sin, guilt and lack of Christian hope.” A sign on one of the backpacks reportedly said, “Forty-four percent of college students have felt so depressed it was hard to function.” My answer is that alcohol, marijuana, masturbation and fornication can all contribute to depression. Drunks, dope fiends, masturbators and fornicators are not functioning well. Attempting to remove the stigma associated with unsound thinking (mental illness) has intensified the problem. There should be a stigma connected with bad thinking. Men need to transform their thinking through the renewing of their mind which is a result of faith in Jesus Christ and a mind focused on God and others instead of one’ self. I did not get any reaction to my message on sound mental health.

The atheist ended up asking me a lot of questions and later the girl who had been whisked away by the devil returned with more queries. The atheist admitted that my answers were different than most Christians. The basic reason for this is that I am an open theist for which I am thankful. Open theism intelligently answers so many of the legitimate complaints that sceptics have against a determinist God who exists outside of time and has absolute knowledge of the future. Oh, the God of the Bible is so often misrepresented by his most vocal alleged defenders.

Caleb, the homosexual, who is confided to a wheel chair, is a regular at my meeting. He showed up about 3 PM and informed me the reason I did not have my usual crowd was the so many students were attending actress, Meryl Streep’s, speech in the IU Auditorium, where she was receiving at honorary doctorate. I had noticed the class breaks were considerable less populated than usual. I folded things up at 3:30 PM.

I enjoyed talking with the atheists; he was polite and thoughtful. He even defended me when a woman from the other groups was speculating on having me removed since they had the area reserved. The atheist answered, “There is plenty of room for all of us.”

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