Recently at an Alpha, someone asked, “Why will 70% of the world’s population, because they are not Christian, go to hell, just because they never accepted Jesus in their life?” We were in an online meeting and everyone went quiet as the enormity of the question sunk in. And then the follow up. “Do we believe that is true?”
Woof! Welcome to Alpha! Those of us who view this ministry at a distance might wonder what Alpha is. Alpha is a place to meet and connect with people, which includes a thoughtful video presentation and an opportunity for each person to share their viewpoint or simply listen to others. I wonder in these days if listening to tough questions is going out of vogue because of the reactionary nature of the broader political and social questions. But we want to buck that trend!
A big part of Alpha is being able to hear questions like these and not just marshal answers but hear the person out.
At the conclusion of one of our Alpha classes last year a participant wrote this on his feedback form: “I have a hard heart that has softened over time. I don’t think I’d be having such changes in my life were it not for Christ.” And then later he says, “this has been a life-changing experience. I hope everyone can have something akin to what I’ve been given here.”
This was so encouraging to read. Our goals at Alpha are not just to cram a particular religious perspective down someone’s throat. Rather, it is to create a safe place for people to think about their life, their goals and how faith in Jesus might be part of that. The fact that we often hear honest questions about whether we can really believe in a being called Satan or what do we do with all of the violence in the Bible, are so critical. It is questions like these that are HUGE barriers for those considering the claims of Christianity to work through if they are going to trust God as a safe and loving Father in heaven.
Our next Alpha starts on Monday January 25 at 7 pm on Zoom and will go for 9 weeks. We would love to have you join us!