Friday, August 05, 2005


Witnessing vs. Debating

What do you do when your discourse becomes an argument? Often when we attempt to share our faith we let our zeal get the better of us, and since I'm argumentative by nature this has happened to me quite often and generally speaking it's my fault. It usually happens when talking with a so-called atheist. I believe the problem lies with the approach that I have used in the past. Instead of sharing the love of Christ I have tried to use logic. I now realize that logic only works with somebody who is open to the Word. Somebody who is looking for a savior can be nudged toward Christ by using reason, but a dogmatic "atheist", not a chance. They must first realize their fallen nature, their need for redemption, and their helplessness. The bible gives a great example of what happens when we try to reach a hostile person or group through logic, behold Acts 9:22-23,28-29

22But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

And how do you think this turned out for our zealous young convert?

23Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

Hmmmm, not quite the reaction he expected. Maybe the folks in Damascus were an aberration and a change of venue was in order, Jerusalem perhaps?

28So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.

Errr, maybe not. Now I suppose you could argue that Paul wasn't having any success in Jerusalem and Damascus because these were Jews and he was called to preach to the gentiles, but I reject that argument because it is akin to saying "I'm called to be a missionary in Africa therefore witnessing to anybody here in the states would be useless and would bare no fruit." Besides, the Hellanists were not Jews, they were Greek.

My point is, save the debate for your political discussions and use the love of Christ as your primary witnessing tool.

Well done!
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