Monday, October 29, 2007

How NOT to Defend Your Faith

Sometimes those who attempt to defend Christianity end up doing more harm than good. Here are some suggestions about how you can avoid finding yourself in that situation.

Do not insult the intelligence of those who disagree with you.

Many Christians seem to have the attitude toward questioners, "If you weren't so ignorant, you'd see that Christianity is obviously true."

Do not say, "You just have to accept it by faith."

While faith is required, Christianity has answers to difficult questions. If you can't give a satisfactory answer, don't cover that up with an appeal to faith.

Do not try to prove Christianity by science or logic.

Christianity cannot be proven by science or logic. There is much to say in support of Christianity from the fields of science, logic and philosophy. But there are no proofs.

Do not act in any way inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus.

Much harm is done to the cause of Christ by people who win arguments while acting like jerks.

Do not automatically accept the question as sincere.

Some questions are simply ways to avoid the real issues. There is a good answer to why the Bible doesn't mention dinosaurs. But most people who ask that question are just trying to stump you. They will not be satisfied with any answer you might give them.

Do not pretend to be an expert.

If you are not a biologist, don't pretend to be an expert on evolution. Just because you've read a few books, you're not in a position to dismiss a whole body of professional literature that is unfriendly to Christianity. You don't have to be an expert to raise questions. But be cautious about pronouncing the other position illogical or self-refuting.

Do not try to defend too much.

Christians have gotten themselves into unnecessary quagmires by trying to defend positions that are not at the heart of the Christian faith. For example, the heart of the Christian position is that God created the universe. Don't try to defend a young earth. Even if this position were unambiguous teaching of the Bible (which it clearly is not), arguing about the age of the earth distracts from the core issue.

Similarly, don't put yourself in a position to defend all religion—or even everything done in the name of Christ.

Do not use the Bible as a club.

Those who do not accept the Bible as authoritative are not persuaded by biblical quotations. The Bible is not magical. The words of the Bible are powerful because of the truth they contain for those who acknowledge its divine origin. To use the Bible to prove the Bible is simply circular reasoning. The Bible is useful to explain the teaching of Christianity. But don't use it to prove the Christian faith.

So what do you think? Do you have some suggestions of your own?

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be."

4 comments:

joe said...

good thoughts here rod. basically what you are saying here is be honest and dont lose your religion.

well, that's my summary anyways. I liked it. good word. thanks for commenting on my blog. i appreciate it.

Pastor Rod said...

Joe,

Thanks for stopping by.

I have some specific suggestions about what we should do that I intend to post later.

I'm saying here
* Be honest.
* Be kind.
* Be Christlike.

But I'm also saying that we shouldn't by in to the dominant "plausibility structure" in our attempt to defend an alternative "plausibility structure."

God Bless,

Rod

Xoramung said...

Well, i guess i can agree with most of what you have said. The thing i laughed at was not mentioning dinosaurs. Are you sure they can't be described as another animal (seeing as the term dinosaur was invented a few hundred years back)

In Job 40:15 - 20 (nkjv)

15 “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;
He eats grass like an ox.

16 See now, his strength is in his hips,
And his power is in his stomach muscles.

17 He moves his tail like a cedar;
The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.

18 His bones are like beams of bronze,
His ribs like bars of iron.

19 He is the first of the ways of God;
Only He who made him can bring near His sword.

20 Surely the mountains yield food for him,
And all the beasts of the field play there."

Now if you think about it, it really can't be an elephant or hippopotamus, as they dont have tail's like cedar tree's, legs like rod's of iron. It sounds more like a dinosaur, but with an ancient name of behemoth There is a good ministery of biblical scientific arguements (not name calling, but factual arguements) which if you like i can give you the web site for. They have many many answers and more.

Faith in Jesus Christ Almighty

Anonymous said...

Good advice! But you should put scripture after each point you make, for example-"Don't be a jerk". [James:1:26] If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight on his tongue,he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.Being christians defending our faith, we'll understand. God Bless you, Pastor Rod.