Emotional Objections

How Do We Deal With a “Post Truth” Mentality?

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.

The Power of Questions

Here’s a question all of us apologists have asked at least once if we are serious about presenting Christ to those who are steeped in a different worldview:

“How do I effectively show them that their worldview is false and destructive without alienating them or shutting them down completely from hearing the Gospel?”

The usual answer I hear is profoundly true: “Follow the leading of the Spirit, and do so with love and an attitude of peace” BUT it isn’t really a complete answer.

You see, God has given us tools to use, and it is foolish for us to either ignore them or fail to learn and be able to use them when appropriate.

One tool is that of the simple question. Simply asking pointed questions with the proper attitude can point out the fallacies and consequences of a worldview without being snarky or confrontational.

Remember, the goal of presenting the Gospel to those who are skeptical or even decidedly opposed to Christ is not to ‘make the sale’; it is to give them enough information and reality to think about for them to come to the point where they can clearly see who Christ is, and then decide whether to follow Him or not. It is God’s work to bring them to Him; it is our task to live our lives and present His truth in such a way that they will hear His voice. Continue reading

LGBT Responses pt. 2

In the last post, I promised to give a few brief answers to the most common objections I hear to the Biblical worldview concerning the LGBT lifestyle. Here they are:

-) Homosexuality is not a sin.
I expect this one from non-Christians; when you deny God’s right to define sin then anything is acceptable as long as you want it to be. What surprises me is when someone who professes to be a disciple of Christ asserts this.
The Bible is very clear, as is Jesus Himself. I explained that in my first post on this subject, but it bears repeating. Both in the Old and New Testaments, homosexual activity is presented as a sin.

Some relevant passages are: Matthew 19:3-5 (discussed in an earlier post here), Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:24-27, 1 Timothy 1:10

-) Homosexuality is not a choice, therefore it cannot be wrong.
This is a not very subtle variation of the “it isn’t a sin” argument, and is far from the ‘fact’ it is usually presented to be. While there are studies cited that indicate that there may be a genetic propensity for homosexuality (cited in the link list below), not only do the most recent concur that the influence is marginal at best, there are no less than eight studies of identical twins that disprove even this theory (also linked below). Continue reading

The Reality of Evil Shows the Existence of God

The single most prevalent objection to Christianity I hear from atheists as well as those from the pagan ‘roll your own religion’ community is the objection based on the presence of evil. It is usually stated like this:

“ If there is an all-powerful, all-knowing and good God, then he would not only be able but willing to prevent evil. But there is evil, therefore God doesn’t exist.”

The dictionary definitions of evil can be summarized by this: “Evil is anything that is morally wrong, or is a cause or source of suffering or destruction.”

In other words, evil is the absence of good, and the degree to which something is evil is directly related to the degree to which it reduces that which is good. For example, calling someone ugly is usually considered mildly bad (or evil), but torturing a child to death just for ‘the fun of it’ is the epitome of evil – or at least close to it. Continue reading

But I LIKE my sin!

“I don’t want to be a Christian because I don’t want God to make me stop _______”

That objection to becoming a disciple of the Christ is the most heartbreaking excuse I hear, and it comes up very often.

It voices a fundamental misunderstanding of not only the nature of God, but what the basic consequences of the choice to either follow or reject Him are.

In this context, the objector seems to be unaware that God has chosen NOT to force His followers to do anything. Throughout the Bible, it is made clear that God informs His people of what He expects of them, tells them the consequences of disobedience as well as the rewards of obedience – AND THEN LETS THEM DECIDE WHETHER TO FOLLOW HIM OR NOT.

That is very important to grasp; God will not force you to stop doing anything, and He will not excuse you from both the temporal and eternal consequences of your decisions.

The mistake that many Christians make (and I have done so myself) is to make a reply similar to “God won’t make you give up anything, just pray and seek Him” and leave it at that. The great danger in this approach is that it leaves the impression that “buffet style” Christianity is a viable option.

Buffet style Christianity, judging from the amount of books, televangelists, and websites either subtly or explicitly advocating it, is the most popular false “christian” theology in America today. It is best described as a belief that God loves us both unconditionally and codependently – we are free to pick and choose which of His commands suit our fancy and ignore the rest because God is a god of love and will never punish us as long as we follow Him when it is convenient.

For those who take the Bible seriously, it is obvious that this idea is not only wrong, but leads straight to hell on a very broad ‘feel-good’ path. Consistently throughout the scripture, the instruction to repent (or turn away from sin) is presented as a vital component to salvation from His wrath. Some examples are Ezekiel 18, Zechariah 1:1-6, Matthew 11:21-22, Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:30 and especially Christ’s declaration, “unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish” in Luke 13:1-5.

God has never said, “Follow me, except for that one thing you don’t want to give up”. What He has revealed is more like “Follow me whatever the cost and if I tell you to give up that one thing you want to hold on to, I will replace it with something so much better you will be amazed.”

The rewards of following Christ are clear; an eternity of fulfillment and joy with God and all the treasures and rewards He has promised. Here are a very few of them:

-) Freedom from death and judgement: John 5:24, Romans 10:9, Romans 6:23. 1 Thessalonians 1:10

-) Internal Peace: Proverbs 1:33, John 14:27, Matthew 11:28-29

-) Forgiveness: 1 John 1:9

-) A joyous eternity with God and his people : John 14:1-3, I Thessalonians 4:16-17. I Peter 1:5-11, Revelation 21:4
The rewards of rejecting Him are equally clear; eternal, final judgement and separation from God. This is best summarized in Hebrews: 10:26-31.

Which will you choose? A life of never-ending fulfillment and joy, or a temporary enjoyment of that which will always demand that you have more and more and never truly provide peace?