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Selling your soul on eBay?
Posted: Aug 3, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

I picked up a book a few days ago that was based on an interesting concept.  An atheist, named Hemant Mehta from Chicago placed his “soul” up for auction on eBay.  The purpose was that Mr. Mehta wanted to find out a little more about Christianity so he decided he would place himself on eBay to the highest bidder.  Whoever bid the highest would be able to take Hemant to the church service(s) of his or her choice.  The winning bid was just north of $500.  Now before you lambaste the author for doing such a thing, I do want to point out that he did donate the money to charity so this wasn’t just some sort of scam.  The gentleman that ended up purchasing “Hemant’s soul,” paid enough money as to allow him to attend church for a year.  He instructed him to visit a variety of different churches.  Some were big and some were small.  They represented a myriad of different representations of the gospel.  Some were Baptist, some Methodist,  Catholic and so on.  As Hemant visited these churches, he was to do so as a student.  That is he was there to take notes and observe why people of faith believe the things that they believe.  He visited powerhouse churches like Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Willow Creek in Chicago and Lakewood church in Houston with Pastor Joel Osteen.  He also visited several smaller churches in and around his hometown of Chicago. 

This book is very intriguing.  I appreciate Hemant’s honest evaluations of faith.  As Christians, we have to look at people that are not of faith through the eyes of Christ.  I received a phone call a few days ago from a member of our church who needed some advice in talking to a friend of theirs.  Their friend was trying to explain that Jesus only cares for Christians.  He has no concern for those that are lost and only cares for those who are inside the church.  Our church member was looking for a way to respond and wondered if their friend was right.  As ridiculous as that concept is, I think there are many others that share that view.  My problem with that idea is that Jesus himself said that he has come to seek and save that which was LOST.  So many times in church, we fail to present the gospel in ways that people like Hemant can understand.  We need to stop looking at people who are not of faith as enemies and start looking at them as people who need to hear the gospel presented clearly in a way that makes sense.

I appreciated Hemant’s sincerity with which he writes.  I honestly believe that the purpose of this book was not to bash those who believe.  He is honestly coming over to our “side of the fence” while saying…….”explain this to me.”  I wish I could tell you that Hemant’s year of visiting churches resulted in his salvation.  As far as I can tell, that has not happened as of yet.  What was encouraging was I honestly believe that he went into this journey with an open mind.  If someone came to you today and said, “why do you believe what you believe…” what would your answer be?

I Peter 3:15 tells us to always be prepared to give a reason for why we have the hope that we have.  We don’t need to be embarrassed or ashamed.  I love reading books by people who claim to have different beliefs than I do.  It makes my faith stronger.  If your faith can’t stand up when it is put under the microscope of scrutiny, you shouldn’t be surprised when people start to question.  I do have a reason for the hope that I have.  Believing in God certainly requires an element of faith but it is by no means blind faith.  I was challenged by this book to make sure that when I communicate the gospel, to do so with the understanding that there may be someone listening who has never heard the message before.  Or maybe they have heard a message that has been clouded or confused.  Just because a person believes something different than you doesn’t mean they can’t teach you something.  I certainly don’t agree with Hemant Mehta on issues of faith, but I appreciate his willingness to not only listen to the gospel, but also give pastors pointers of how they could better explain it.  “I sold my soul on eBay,” by Hemant Mehta is a very interesting book  that Christians and especially pastors should seriously consider reading.

With Expectancy!

Corey

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