Ravi Zacharias and Sam Allberry Address Topic of Identity to Over 2,000 in Hamilton
Posted by Ruth Malhotra on September 29, 2018
On Friday night, September 28, Ravi Zacharias and Sam Allberry spoke to a packed audience at the FirstOntario Concert Hall in Hamilton, at an open forum on the topic, “Confident or Confused? The Truth About Identity.” Over 2,000 people from across Hamilton and the greater Toronto area attended this sold-out event.
Zacharias spoke on “God’s Design for Personhood” and challenged the audience to find their meaning and definitions in the God who created them and gives them purpose. Using the “origin, meaning, morality, destiny” paradigm, he described how each person is made in the image of God and at the same time has a distinctive uniqueness that gives their life particular value. He also emphasized the uniqueness of the Christian worldview in giving every person intrinsic worth, an idea that often runs contrary to what culture claims is valuable such as material success, fame, and sensual pleasure.
Allberry spoke on “A Fresh Approach to Sexual Identity” and shared his personal story of same-sex attraction and finding lifegiving hope and fulfillment in Jesus. “The key to discovering who we are is to meet the person who made us,” Allberry told the diverse audience. “Only then can we be who we are truly meant to be.”
Zacharias and Allberry held a Q&A session with attendees following their talks, moderated by RZIM-Canada apologist Logan Gates. Questions ranged from how the Bible’s commands for holiness impact one’s approach to personal morality and how Christians should interact with their LGBT neighbors in an increasingly polarized society, to whether a belief in God is truly essential for fulfillment in life and whether relativism can co-exist with the Christian worldview.
Zacharias and Allberry offered compelling answers in a manner that helped equip believers to navigate these issues and welcomed the range of different worldviews present at the gathering.
“I always appreciate the opportunity to engage with the multiple experiences that people have had on issues of identity and sexuality,” said Allberry. “Many church and ministry leaders were in attendance, and I trust they were equipped to engage their circles of influence around this topic.”
Zacharias brought the evening’s forum to a close by acknowledging the difficulty of these issues and offering a passionate invitation to gospel. “Thank you for giving both of us a hearing. I have no doubt that these subjects are truly very volatile in our culture and getting more and more volatile all the time,” he said. “We may not have all the answers for you, but we know the One who does. Rather than look at us and simply listen to what our answers are, look to the person of Jesus Christ.”
Zacharias urged the audience to read the gospel account of John in the Bible. “Ask the Lord that if Jesus is who He claims to be to reveal Himself to you… you will see the utter beauty of this person.”
“If you genuinely want to find answers to these questions, you will have to find life’s purpose,” Zacharias continued. “We all struggle with the flesh and Jesus reminds us that this is the only worldview where you don’t go to the temple but you take the temple with you when you go to worship.”
“As you go to the Word and ask Him to speak to you and correct you where you are wrong and confirm you where you are right – when you worship Him in spirit and in truth – your greatest fulfillment in life will come from being related to the One who made you and builds that intimate relationship and guides you every step of the way,” he said.
“We don’t attempt to change any heart because it would be flawed beginning,” Zacharias concluded. “Only God is big enough to change that heart. Ask Him for the miracle that only He can perform. Only Christ is big enough to fill your heart with wonder and make it a temple of the living God.”
Friday night’s open forum kicked off an exciting series of events for RZIM in Canada this weekend, including another open forum on Saturday night at Knox Presbyterian Church in Toronto on the topic of “Saving Truth in a Post-Truth World.” Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray will keynote the event and will be joined by Sam Allberry, Logan Gates, and Alycia Wood who will present brief talks on culturally relevant issues and hold Q&A sessions with the audience.
With your support, Ravi Zacharias and our RZIM team continue to follow Jesus’s commands to pursue holiness and proclaim the message of Christ in diverse arenas. Thank you for standing with us as we seek to share the beauty and truth of the gospel to our culture.