Friday, May 23, 2008

Arguing your faith

Faithful men and women, I can remember many times in my life when my faith was the center of an argument with one of my unbelieving friends. I look back at some of those disputes and cringe.

If you are living out your faith, discussions with your friends will happen. These discussions are truly great, and are what we pray for, but also have the potential to be explosive and become argumentative. I encourage you to be gentle. Read 2 Timothy 2.

in 2 Tim 2:14 Paul encourages Timothy to remind Christians "not to fight about words; this is in no way profitable and leads to the ruin of the hearers."

Again in v. 16 he continues with... "shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness."

v. 23 "But reject the foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. v24 The Lord's servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness." (ESV: "in humility correcting those who are in opposition")

I love that he says "instructing" "correcting" and "teaching" with "gentleness" and telling them not to "fight," use "idle babblings," or "foolish and ignorant disputes"

It is good that you have passion about defending your faith. But consider this, your friends will not "come to their senses" through a heated argument.

2 Tim 2:25 "if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, v. 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil,"

If they are convinced, it will be because God convinces their heart. You nee to trust Him. When those conversations come up about Jesus, instruct your friends out of humility and gentleness, don't get caught up in things that don't matter. Bring it back to the gospel. If they get upset, be patient.

Carry on Christian.