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Just Tell the Lost the Truth, Short and Sweet – Not

There is a strain of Biblical Christians who are understandably frustrated with how our culture has turned against them (us). Rather than responding with patience, grace, and love, they respond to verbal challenges with an equal portion of dogmatic and divisive responses. This goes well beyond issues such as abortion and sexuality.

Questions and Unsatisfactory Answers

Traditional theological examples that have moved into the public conversation include the following, receiving a cryptic answer.

  • Question 1: So you think it is okay that God would kill every man, woman, and child alive in the flood? Answer: Yes.
  • Question 2: So you have no problem following a God who would tell Israel to brutally kill even the children and animals of Jericho? Answer: None at all.
  • Question 3: You think it’s okay for God to create people just to send them to hell? Answer: Yes.
  • Question 4: How can you believe these things? Answer: Because God can do whatever He wants with his creation, and I trust his plan is right.

The Problem

Of course, to the Biblical Christian, the answers to these challenge questions are theologically correct, but hardly sufficient in their brevity and curtness. By the time one gets to “I trust his plan is right”, one has likely lost the battle.  

Quoting from the author of this approach, “Opponents of the Christian faith might be offended by these answers… at least they won’t think that you are inconsistent. There will be no reason for unbelievers to consider your position if, under pressure, you reveal that you don’t really believe it either.”

Clearly, consistency in our theology is paramount in order to not come off as disingenuous. As Christians, we are already in deep water as unbelievers watch us sin every day. However, the issue is not so much consistency as it is priority and approach.

Biblical Christian Priority and Approach

Our priority should be evangelistic toward the unbeliever. We need to show love and grace in speaking about our faith to those who have not yet been blessed with the Holy Spirit in their hearts. The approach should therefore be nonconfrontational at all costs.

An alternative to the question-and-answer diatribe above would be to bring the conversation back to the heart of evangelism.  

Jesus, when talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, was asked a similar line of questioning, contemporary to His time. His response to her obvious anger and confrontational challenge at the restrictions Jews placed on Samaritan worship was to say…

John 4:19-21 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “

The point is that confrontational answers only serve to close a conversation, not continue it. One should first attempt to bring the subject back to the real issue, eternity, perhaps offering, 

“I know that is a hard teaching from Scripture. The Bible points out that Christians are saved by faith in a personal relationship with Jesus and we trust that even the hard and seemingly harsh examples of God’s judgment found in the Bible will be understood much more clearly on the other side of the grave.”

The point is that what is most important is to attempt to bring the conversation back to the saving love of Jesus just as He brought the conversation from where one worships to Whom we should worship.

Ephesians 4:15 Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

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AuthorJeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org


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