Apologetics

Apologetics is a lost teaching in the church of God, but it is a very important one. We need to be able to go to the word of God and show why we believe what we believe. If you can't do that your faith will be weak and you are vulnerable to deception. Also, if we don't teach Christians in the church of God how to defend the faith, then they too are vulnerable to deception. It's the difference between having your house built on firm ground versus on sand. 

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Cor. 3:5-9 (We are powerless to change hearts and minds. Only God can do that and make the seeds that we plant grow. Our job is simply to plant the seeds and water it. The end result of convincing someone to change their mind is futile, as that is not our burden to bear.)

I have tried many times to convince people to change their views on many various doctrines. I've been horribly unsuccessful. But then I read 1 Cor. 3:5-9 and that burden was lifted. I became less combative and more calm in my dealings with people because my objective was no longer to change their heart or mind only because I now knew that that was God's job to do. My objective was simply to state my belief and why I believe that. My interest in answering their rebuttals was now more for my own interest in testing my own doctrine under the heat of scrutiny. Obviously I'd love for everyone to come to the truth of God's word, but I just no longer viewed that goal as mine to achieve. If someone's heart is open, and they are seeking the truth, then God will open their heart and change their mind to his truth in his own way and timing.

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Matt. 10:14 (We are not to continuously bang our heads against the wall trying to change hearts and minds. We are simply messengers. Once the message has been delivered our job is done.)

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Matt. 7:6 (God's truth is holy and is a treasure full of many perils. But we are not to continuously cast these perils out to be trampled on. God tells us to move on.)

One mistake I often see when people get into discussions on biblical doctrine is in how they behave. People shy away from apologetics because they think it causes division. Yes, to some degree it can, but what causes even more division is how people react and behave toward each other. Also consider the alternative. Don't discuss these things, which is the equivalent to refusing to fight a war, and watch the other side win the war. You're in the war whether you like it or not. The enemy is fighting to destroy the church and the truths of God's word. So with that perspective in mind, we have no choice but to join the fight, but we must do it with right attitudes and proper behavior. 

What do I mean? Too often I see people resorting to name calling, losing their cool, or being too easily offended. We are called to be of sound mind. We should maintain our composure in the face of attacks. Getting offended does not allow you the upper hand or victory, if anything it defeats your cause. Never name call, always keep it factual and scriptural. Allow the other side to call you names. Watch them lose their cool when they are so easily offended. It only defeats their cause. Don't have the objective of changing their mind, because it's probably not going to happen at least in the same sitting. Acknowledge good points that they do have. Speak in love and understanding. Don't make it about you being right. Remind them that you were once wrong yourself and had to admit that to come to believe what you believe today. But study the word so that you can increase your faith and confidence in your beliefs. Join the battle for truth and become an expert in apologetics.
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