WIN SOULS, NOT DEBATES
Using the tools and methods of this present world is a pitfall and a snare for the Christian.
QUESTIONS FOR ATHEISTS – There are times that Christians shoot themselves in their foot–though they have the best of intentions. A website that proposes to settle questions about Christianity based on evidence, proof and logic presents the linked article.
The premise sounds reasonable: atheists are usually asking Christians questions (which is not a bad thing actually), so why not “turn the tables” and ask the atheists a few questions?
However, while this sounds good, there are several things wrong with this approach, which is not very biblical.
1- This appeals to the Christians’ ‘pride of life’ and moves the focus off of Jesus Christ.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
—1 John 2:16
Do Christians want to win souls or win debate points? These discussions are not winnable using the world’s methods.
The Christian is to win souls–not debates.
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
The gospel is the tool that God uses–not rhetoric or logic or evidence or proof. Specifically, the preaching of the gospel.
“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
—1 Corinthians 1:21
Sure, Christians are human: they chafe at the world’s labels of “uneducated,” “illiterate” and “idiots.” (The linked articles’ words, not this writer’s.) But is engaging the unbeliever on his own turf the answer? Is appealing to the atheists’ reason the way Christians are supposed to approach unbelievers?
Will a debate over evidence and proof win one soul to Christ?
The Bible says it won’t.
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
We’re to walk in wisdom and focus on the cross of Christ. When Christians lose focus of the true issue, they exchange their most powerful weapon for the tools of the enemy.
Christians seem to be doing a lot of this lately: fighting by the world’s rules of engagement.
2- The questions presented in this article are a good example of trying to fight the enemy on his terms. They sound good to the Christian–but will likely prove ineffective at winning the souls of atheists. If the author had visited websites frequented by atheists, he would already know that atheists engage most of the questions presented in this article.
Atheists already have answers to most of the questions presented. Sure, as Christians we believe that their answers are wrong, but atheists don’t.
So then we’re back to square one again.
And Christians should keep one important point in mind: it is God who offers salvation as a free gift, not us. We merely are the presenters, nothing more. Contrary to much of what’s being taught, being more “persuasive” has nothing to do with whether an unbeliever truly experiences a a new birth or not.
3- Some of the questions don’t even sound good to the Christian.
“How can the Second Law of Thermodynamics be reconciled with progressive, naturalistic evolutionary theory?”
Is this the way to win souls? Quick: all readers who can recite the Second Law of Thermodynamics, raise your hands.
“How do you explain the thousands of people who have experienced heaven or hell and have come back to tell us about it?”
Though “dying” or “being sent back from the dead” to testify of heaven or hell is a fairly common phenomena in our own times, it is not biblical.
“Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
It’s very human to want to win an argument. However, nowhere in the Bible is winning arguments mentioned as a method of soul winning.
Yes, we’re to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered” (Jude 3)–but that is among believers, not unbelievers (who are not part of the “common salvation” to which Jude refers).
Yes, “Christian apologetics” is speaking in defense of Christianity. But much of Christian apologetics is practically concerned with the issues raised by false teachers and those who are supposed to be Christians. False teachers was the theme of Jude.
For Christians who believe we are living in the end times, we’re given the formula to be “overcomers.”
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Preach the gospel and let the atheists win their debate points.
At the end of the day, Christians will be happy they did.
HAS the reader placed his faith in winning arguments, discussions and debates?
THERE is still time to change direction (repent) and place one’s trust in Almighty God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
–1 Corinthians 15:1-8
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:”
—2 Corinthians 4:3
[Portions of this piece appeared originally in End Times Prophecy Headlines: February 22-23, 2014 and End Times Prophecy Headlines: February 23-24, 2017.]
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by Jeremiah Jameson
–with Mondo Frazier
© Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report, 2012-16. © Mondo Frazier and End Times Prophecy Report, DBKP 2007-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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