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February 27, 2008
MarketFaith Ministries is an equipping ministry which is focused on helping Christians become more effective in living out their faith in the midst of the increasingly diverse worldview environment of modern society.
Introduction It is almost guaranteed in today’s society that if you make a definitive assertion to promote the Christian faith, you will be attacked. You can be certain of that. The question is, how should we respond? There are a number of possibilities. We could just go crawl in a hole. We could simply try to appease the other person. We could convert to the other person’s beliefs. On the other side, we could viciously attack back. Looking at these possibilities, none of them are really acceptable for a Christian. But there is some kind of response that is appropriate. Today, we will dive into this topic and propose a way to deal with this. We can give a proper response which is a credit to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that today’s article will give you new insights and courage to stand strong in the face of attacks on your faith. MarketFaith Ministries is all about developing resources to strengthen the Christian community. The resources fall into several categories. There is, of course, the ministry website where you will find all kinds of resources – most of them free. Then there are the books (including the newest offering – a Worldview Self-Study Guide). And of course, there are oppor(Continued on page 2) How to Deal with an Attack Like a Christian The state of Florida has just adopted new science standards for their textbooks. Leading up to the adoption of the new standards, there was considerable debate about one particular element – the part having to do with the teaching of evolution. much comment, but when a controversial topic is written about, it can really get going. This was one of those articles which had comments out the wazoo.
Since I had a particular interest in this topic, I began reading the various comments. What I read was actually quite The pro-evolution people wanted it to be stated that evolupredictable. There were those who were pro-evolution who tion was the entire basis of biological science, and didn’t were asserting their point and insulting the Christian vieweven want the word “theory” included. Those on the other point. And on the other side were those who were anti-evoside, who believe in God, were not trying to eliminate the lution and were asserting the truth that God created the teaching of evolution in the classroom, but did want to make world. sure that it was acknowledged as a theory and that the problems with the theory could also be discussed. Now I think that a discussion like this is a good thing. To me, it is an opportunity to share a witness – and I took that The day that the standards were voted on, an article apopportunity to express some of the serious drawbacks of peared in my local newspaper giving the results of the vote. the Naturalistic point of view. But I did it in a way that was On the online edition of the paper, it is possible to write respectful and, hopefully, convincing. comments about an article. Most articles really don’t get (Continued on page 2)
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(Introduction - Continued from page 1) tunities to contact me and have me come do a worldview presentation for your group. In all of this, the main thing is to strengthen believers and build the Kingdom of God. In order to help us get these resources out, would you consider a tax deductible gift to MarketFaith Ministries? If you would like to help in this way, you may send your contribution to: MarketFaith Ministries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312. You may also donate online. Simply use the “Donate” button on the website to make a contribution by credit card. And let us hear from you. You may contact us any time with comments, questions and suggestions. God bless, Freddy
(How to Deal with an Attack - Continued from page 1) Unfortunately, that was not the case for many of the Christians who commented. Some of them were down right insulting. That disturbed me because I believe an attitude like that really hurts the Christian witness. Others made comments that were just plain ignorant. They made rash belief statements without being able to back them up in any way. Now, I appreciate the fact that these folks had faith in God, but insulting and ignorant statements are not going to have any credibility with people who are of the other persuasion. As Christians, if we want to be good witnesses in situations like this, there are two things we are going to have to take care of. First of all, we have to have the right attitude. We have to show respect to other people – not agree with their viewpoint, just respect them as persons. Secondly, we have to know our stuff. Let’s look at this a bit and see if we can come to an understanding of how we can make these things a reality in our lives. The Right Attitude Jesus was very clear in teaching that the ends do not justify the means. He clearly taught that we are to be kind, considerate, humble and meek. He did not even approve of Peter trying to protect him by using the sword when the mob came to take him away. We must understand that God is holy and that serving him requires holiness on our part – even if that brings some kind of personal disadvantage. As an example, it is not okay to kill abortion doctors, even though they are responsible for the deaths of many babies. We must oppose them in other ways. Jesus clearly said, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Jesus meant that as we share a gospel which opponents find offensive, we must, ourselves, be willing to endure injury with patience and without resentment. It involves both humility and constraint. Know Your Stuff But we also need to understand that meekness does not mean weakness. We are not called upon to simply allow our faith to be walked on. Jesus wasn’t that way. He often stood up to the Pharisees and other religious leaders. He once even went so far as to violently drive merchants out of the temple. (Continued on page 3)
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(How to Deal with an Attack - Continued from page 2) So, how do we reconcile this? How do we stand strong in our faith while, at the same time, doing it in the proper way? Well, once our attitude is aligned with the attitude of God, we have to make sure that we have the knowledge to make our argument in a convincing way. It is extremely important to know the truth. But that by itself is often not enough – especially when we have to confront people opposed to the truth. We must also know, and be able to explain, why it is the truth. Just hurling insults at people because they don’t believe in God, or because they believe in evolution, is not going to win any arguments, even if our beliefs are right. It is a poor witness and poor technique. And it is particularly ineffective when the other person believes they have solid evidence as to why their position is correct. We have to be able to show why there is a God and why evolution is not the truth. This does not guarantee the other person will be convinced, but there is certainly a much greater possibility. There are a lot of people who love their Christian faith and are firmly committed to it. When untruths are put out in the public square, like an assertion that evolution is the truth, there is nothing wrong with opposing it. In fact, that is a tremendous thing. But it is not okay to be ignorant of the whys of our faith. The unfortunate fact is that too many Christians are content to know what they believe, but not why they believe it. So, just what is necessary to get the whys? Simply put, study and effort. The knowledge one needs to acquire in order to give an intelligent reply to opponents is readily available. You can get some training from your church or pastor, and there are all kinds of books and other resources available. In fact, that is the entire reason MarketFaith Ministries exists and why we have so many free resources on the website. It is also why I do this newsletter. If we have the right attitude and the right knowledge, we can turn any attack around and use it to give a witness. We actually do have an intelligent leg to stand on. We literally do have the truth. And if we know how to express it, we wield a pretty powerful weapon. Subscription Information If you would like to receive Worldview Made Practical as a free email subscription, simply go to www.marketfaith.org and click on the sign up link. Past Issues of Worldview Made Practical are available free of charge in .pdf (Acrobat) format in the archives at http://www.marketfaith.org.
Next Month’s Article: The Gospel According to PETA
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Support MarketFaith Ministries The purpose of MarketFaith Ministries is to equip the Body of Christ to become more effective by sharing the practical applications of worldview. We are involved in developing training and resource materials for that very purpose. If you would like to partner with us in this effort, you may send your tax deductible contribution to MarketFaith Ministries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312.
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