Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Reason

If you haven't surmised from previous posts and/or personal contact, I am a follower of Christ.  There are a lot of us throughout the world.  That's a lot of sermons and a lot of teaching.  But sometimes the focus of messages isn't always the most productive.  Look at all the attention Prop 8 received.  And all that does is create gaps, not bridge them.  Teaching and training that would bridge the wide gulf between Christians and non-Christians is teaching that emphasizes Christians to be better prepared to logically and succinctly explain why they believe.  It's something we as Christians are told to do:

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 1 Peter 3:15-16

There's a whole branch of theology called Apologetics.  No, it doesn't imply that we "apologize" for our faith, but rather a defense of the faith.  Not to win arguments, but for genuine conversation.  Not to belittle someone who believes differently but for us as humans to better understand one another.  Every Christian should be versed in apologetics.  Why Christians believe what we believe is just as important as what we believe.  The overly emotional, ambiguous reasoning often given supports the "What's true for you is true for me, but what's true for me is true for me" response that leave both parties at an impasse.  Such effusive arguments can and do come across as ephemeral and typically don't show others the value of Christ.  By no means am I advocating a purely statistic based approach; rather, a combination of personal experience and why we can trust in the Trinity and the Bible would do a lot for the faith of both the Christian and non-Christian.

I think there would be a lot more understanding if Christians were more practiced in verbalizing not only their faith, but its source as well.  Not for bellicose debates, but for genuine conversations about faith and about Jesus.

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