Posted by Highland

Mentors,
In a world where we are increasingly told our beliefs are wrong, how do we defend our faith without being as hostile as the people attacking it? I don’t expect to change their minds. But I don’t want it to seem like I am turning my back on God by saying nothing. So what do I say and do?
-Anonymous

 

Dear Anonymous,

This is a two edged sword – you are condemned if you do, and condemned if you don’t. On the one hand, if you say nothing, it is like condoning what is morally wrong. Saying nothing becomes tacit support. On the other hand, if you say something, you are easily accused of being narrow-minded, judgmental or bigoted.

For example consider the matter of sexual purity. If you say nothing in the face of the continual erosion of sexual mores, it is as if you condone it. If you stand up for the biblical standard that sexual fulfillment is the exclusive privilege of marriage and not a right to be fulfilled whenever and however a person desires, and that marriage is only between and man and a woman, you are condemned as being narrow-minded, old fashion and bigoted.

A two-edged dilemma calls for a two-edged response – love and stand.

Love and have compassion for all people, no matter where they are on issues. Treat all people with kindness and respect. Serve others no matter who they are or what they do. Whomever God puts in your path, be charitable to them. By this people will know that you are my disciples, Jesus said in the Gospel of John. The love standard cannot be compromised.

Stand for what is right. While loving others who disagree with you, do not compromise on these convictions. In a discussion, state your beliefs, simply and straightforwardly, but do not be argumentative. If someone is going to lose their temper and make accusations, let it be someone else; not you. But don’t back down. Agree that you and the other party disagree, but don’t be disagreeable. Sometimes the polite thing to do is the change the subject. If you keep the door open there will be other opportunities to discuss it. If you paint yourself or the other person into a corner, you’ll get defensiveness.

In a recent marriage ceremony I said these words, “be an example of all God had in mind when He conceived of the home…Silence the critics of marriage through the witness of your happiness.”

We are living in an unusual era in history, a time when perhaps the best we can do to witness to the truth is be happy and faithful in our walk with God and others. Remember, you have no control over others and how they behave or believe, but you do have control over yourself. Let this be your attitude: as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

Pastor Carl White


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