POINTING PEOPLE TO GOD AS THEIR REAL NEED
In visiting people with the gospel, some saints met a Buddhist who had had a lot of problems in his past, such as a lack of food, clothing, shelter, and employment. He told the saints that since he had become a Buddhist, all of his material needs had been met through worshipping idols. Thus, he felt that he did not need God’s salvation. In presenting the gospel to him, some would say that you need to point out that God’s salvation is not only to save people from outward problems, but also to save man from his inward and daily problems of temper, lust, anxiety, and fear, and that regardless of how many things a person possesses, he still feels empty, not knowing what the meaning of human life is. This kind of presentation is good, but it is not complete. It may be better to present the mystery of human life by saying, “God is your real need. Your real problem is that you do not have God. You have problems because you do not have God. The only One who can solve all of your problems is God. God is a mystery, and human life is also a mystery. I would like to read a booklet with you which tells us about the mystery of human life.”
A person who has been confused in his understanding by other religions may ask vague questions. For this reason, it is best to try to bring him to a certain practical point. The kind of answers you give to his questions depends upon the atmosphere and situation of your conversation as well as your discernment of that person. As you listen to him speak, you should use one point of his talk to present something of the gospel to him.
A few saints preached the gospel to a very philosophical person who said that everyone has God in them. According to her view, whether someone receives the Lord or not, everyone has God in them; therefore, each person must explore within himself to find his peace and satisfaction. She also said that the things of hatred, anger, and jealousy were just baggage that needed to be dropped off in order to reveal something beautiful inside of each person. She may have known some of the deeper points of Buddhism. The saints shared the gospel with her and found that she had had several unpleasant experiences in Christianity and in her own family life. She, therefore, discredited what the saints shared from the Bible based upon these experiences.
This is also a case of a person who “soars in the air” with philosophical thought. We must develop the ability to restrict people to a particular point. By restricting people to a particular point, you can present something of the Word which is very practical for their daily life. Since this person knows something of Christianity and may know some of the deeper points of Buddhism, you must talk to her according to her level of knowledge and also on a level which is very practical. Actually, no other book is as practical as the Bible. In order to impress someone with the practical nature of the Bible, you must study and know the verses which show, for example, that God is the unique God (Deut. 6:4; 32:39; Psa. 86:10). You should also learn a number of verses about God being something to us, such as our breath (Acts 17:25), our life (Eph. 4:18), and our salvation (Psa. 27:1; Isa. 12:2). As you present such verses, you might ask, “In Buddhism do you have God? You know Buddhism very well, but you do not know God. You also know a great deal about Christianity, but you still do not have God. Your real need is to know God.” Based upon these verses concerning God being certain items to us, you could render some help to such a person. But learn not to rebuke people or to point out their shortages in a despising manner. Learn to help people realize their need of a practical God in their daily life and their human life.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)