From Misconceptions to the Real Jesus: Do Christians Think the Earth Is Flat?

Mark* had filled out a survey during orientation week at the University of Auckland, but when I messaged him, I didn’t think he would respond. On the survey he had said he was, “Quite content with the knowledge he had about who Jesus is.” He didn’t seem to want to know more about Jesus, the gospel, or my faith. Many of the 60 students who filled out surveys didn’t respond to a follow-up invitation to lunch.

So I was surprised and humbled when Mark responded that same evening: “Hey Ethan, shout me lunch Thursday, 12 pm at Subway? I have some questions.” (Shout is slang for me buying him lunch, which I had offered.)

In anticipation of our time together, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would be present in our time together and ministering to Mark as we met. I had no idea what to expect.

As we sat down for lunch, Mark informed me he technically grew up as a Christian, but often doubted the validity of the Bible, the life of Jesus, and that Jesus is actually God’s Son and God Himself, among other things. Some of his initial questions were striking. He asked, “Don’t Christians believe the Earth is flat and doesn’t revolve around the sun?”

In that moment, I thanked God for the time He gave me with Mark and that I was able to clear the air about some of his far-fetched, false beliefs about Christians.

Next, Mark asked me to prove to him that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died and rose from the grave. The day before our lunch, I had attended a discussion on this very same topic! It was an assurance for me, from God, that He would be guiding me all the way and that He had already been preparing me to meet with Mark.

We spent the next two hours talking about the true Jesus: His life, death, and resurrection. We looked at Scripture and the life of Jesus factually, rather than emotionally. Then I offered to meet with Mark again to answer more questions or explore the Bible together.

Mark and I met again for pizza, and it was clear from our continued conversation that he had grown up with many misconceptions about Jesus and faith. I asked him, “Mark, would you mind if I shared the true message about what we believe as Christians?”

Mark said that he didn’t want to read the Bible but he would let me talk about faith with him. So I proceeded to share the Good News of Jesus. Mark may not think he needs God now, but I am praying that Mark’s soul will be restless and that he will long for the truth about God and life through Jesus Christ.

My conversation with Mark reminds me what a skewed perception many have of Christians and the Bible today. Mark had pushed the question of salvation aside and was worried about crazy things he heard about Christians. For Mark, the thoughts, actions, and words of some who are Christians speaks louder than the gospel. But the prevalence of unclear ideas about God also presents an opportunity to intentionally engage with people relationally and share the truth about Jesus and the Bible—the Good News of God’s love is a new thought for many young adults.

Please pray for Mark that the truth of the gospel would transform his heart and mind to know God personally!  And pray for Ethan and Navigators all over the world to continue planting seeds of the gospel in the lives of those who don’t yet know Christ.

Ethan is serving in New Zealand with The Navigators iEDGE team, a two-year internship program with Navigators Collegiate ministry on college campuses internationally.

*Name changed.

 

Comments:

  1. Unfortunately, there ARE some Christians who believe the Earth is flat because they read the Bible too literally. I like that you keep going back with Mark to discuss the historical Jesus. The early church did not have the cannon of scripture we have today, but the Good News spread and people became devoted followers of Christ.

    1. Just FYI: Isaiah 40:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
      22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
      And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
      Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
      And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

  2. A lot of Christians have trouble understanding the sciences like biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and especially genetics because they are all based on evolution. But the physical world is not faith based. It just is what it is based on observation and analysis. However, Faith, Hope and Love are seen with the heart. Jesus explained it best when He told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus, a very learned man of high status replies, “You mean I have to enter my mother’s womb?” Jesus explained that you must be born of the Spirit.

    1. biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and genetics, none of these are based on evolution.

  3. The flat earth conspiracy is very popular right now…There are many, many Christians who are falling for this..I had no idea until recently…. I thought it was a joke at first, but no, they really believe it.

    1. It’s a good conspiracy…. over 240 Stationary Level Pond scriptures in the Bible, but only one where God says he will take the parchment like earth…roll it up like a scroll, the crumble it into a sphere then immediately destroy it…from all memory…. 240 v’s 1…. seems according to God science/evolution is fantasy

  4. I pray for Mark. Hold fast to the faith:
    “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
    ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭NASB
    “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
    ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭NASB‬‬
    And by the gospel:
    “But what does it say? ” THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART “-that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:8-10‬ ‭NASB‬‬

  5. The earth is no more flat than any deity is real. Science is real. Things that can be seen or measured are real. That which may not be seen or measured is pure fantasy. It’s not hard to understand once you abandon denial that results from unwarranted fear.

    1. You cannot know diety until you experience it. You can experiment this too…Try praying every day and see what happens! Then tell me if God doesn’t exist! I am a science person myself! Why can’t science explain everything! I’ll pray for your soul!

    1. Are you serious? The Bible does not teach a flat earth and it has been shown and proven that it doesn’t.

  6. The bible does teach that the earth is flat and does not move, the sun ,moon and starts move…..yes it is in the bible and just maybe you should read it!!! The Catholic church taught the earth was flat and even accused those who taught otherwise of heresy even Galileo was accused, and promised to say it was flat to avoid death. Martin Luther also taught the earth was flat.You need to READ your bible and also history before you run off at the mouth. NO it is not flat, but those were the teachings of the CHURCH into the 1600s

    1. The Catholic church is a false religion anyway. Galileo was led by God and fought against the heretical teachings of the Catholic cult.

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