Most of us, if we have been actively sharing the Gospel at all, have run into a rather troubling attitude increasingly more often – especially with those under the age of 30.
I’m referring to what I call the ‘post truth mentality’, and it is a direct result of the relativistic naturalism propaganda foisted upon us by the public school system, colleges, and mass entertainment media for the last three generations.
The logical result of an ingrained belief that all moral truth is relative is a mindset that believes that feelings are paramount – and any ‘truth’ must be subservient to them. Therefore, any moral or spiritual truth statement is not evaluated upon the merits of its truthfulness or falsehood, but upon whether it feels right (“feel the Force, Luke”).
And so, we should not be surprised when discussing topics such as the truth of the Gospel, abortion, and especially LGBTQ issues that a common response is something like, “well, that may be true, but it doesn’t feel right (or good) to me”.
Sadly, another common response is to call anyone who disagrees or objects to their view as hateful, bigoted, or racist.
I’m always a bit shocked by this response, especially since I try very hard to show Christ’s love and am careful to present my arguments opposing their lifestyle as concern for their welfare – but I shouldn’t be.
You see, we’re seeing the results of education, entertainment, and political systems that have consistently taught us that truth is an illusion, self is paramount, and anything that makes a person less than superior in every way (especially in moral and spiritual choices) is hurtful, and if it goes against the current cultural obsession is hateful and must be silenced.
No wonder when you point out that there is not only objective truth, but objective spiritual truth that you are labeled intolerant and hateful. Should you point out that those denying you the opportunity to voice and defend that view are just as hateful and intolerant as you are being accused of being, then you are obviously a bigoted bumpkin.
So how do you best present the gospel to someone who has been indoctrinated to be aggressively offended by anything that suggests that their feelings could possibly be wrong?
First of all, be aware of three things :
1 = There are no quick or easy answers
2 = I don’t have all of them, and
3 = None of the suggestions I have will work every, or even most of the time.
But that’s OK – we’re called to present the gospel in the most effective, winsome, loving way we can; the results are up to God. My attitude is this:
Our job is to present and live out Truth as consistently and godly as possible so that we don’t get in God’s way while he works on the hearts of the lost and doomed people we meet.
That means that in most cases, we’re in it for the long haul. It may be YEARS before we see any “progress” or “results” – but that isn’t our primary concern. Our PRIMARY concern in presenting the gospel to those locked into this destructive and illusory world view is to give them God’s truth (and all real truth is His) presented in a manner and with an attitude that reflects Christ’s nature.
So, how do we do that? Well, I have a few suggestions, given in no particular order:
-) LISTEN and ask questions designed to make them clarify and explain their position. Questions like “what do you mean by that?”, “are yo saying that….?”, and “If that is true, then isn’t _____ also true?” asked with an inquiring attitude rather than a judgmental attitude are good ways to get them to think about the logical results of their statements.
-) Don’t be bullied, and don’t be a bully. Sometimes, you will be personally attacked and called hateful, bigoted, etc. The best response is to calmly point out the error of the assessment, and that whether they chose to believe that or not, you will not stop treating them with love and respect just because they disagree with you. While not always the case, it is usually a good idea to leave your disappointment with their unwillingness to do the same unsaid.
-) Present the Gospel and a Biblical world view as clearly and concisely as possible.
-) One thing that I find myself saying more and more often when presenting a Biblical world view is “I don’t believe the Bible because it makes me feel good or because I like it, but because it is historically and factually true.”
-) As much as possible, be thoughtful, loving, firm, and consistent. What you DO and HOW you do it is often more telling than what you say.