Should Christians contend for the faith?

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Dec 9, 2011
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#61
For me personally, I shy away from discussing faith with unbelievers because I rarely see them accept any kind of answer. Most people these days have heard Christian teaching. Their mind is already made up. You can find one or two people who are truly open to new ideas, but they're rare.
:)The one that you reached might be the one that GOD uses to reach many more.:)
 
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Depleted

Guest
#62
Did I compose the post that stated we should "condemn" other people? The post I clearly replied to?

No, I did not.

So, what is your problem with me saying I don't think that is at all Christ-like?
No, you "composed" the post on how everyone but one (and you) were wrong as a starting point...
Ramah,
I think you are probably closer to Jesus with your beliefs and actions than most "Christians." 'Contending', means, to way too many people, that they are to best others in arguments. As long as they can shove their point down someone's throat, they feel they have done "the Lord's work." And all they usually do is further alienate a nonbeliever.
... which, indeed was shoving your point down everyone's throat, and unrelated to YB's OP.
 
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NoNameMcgee

Guest
#63
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Jude 1:3

I was watching a Dinesh D'Souza video the other day, and in the video he was talking about the importance of being able to defend faith in Christ. He wasnt really talking about every Christian becoming a debater or anything like that, but really just learning of a few common arguments against Christianity, and learning how to argue against them.

He said that most Christians shy away from these things, and that when he was young he used to hear other Christians talk about how they didnt want to "debate", but just have an "open dialog".

We all know the verses about doing all things with love and not using harsh words and all that, I dont think anyone is debating that idea at all. Im just curious about the thoughts of others. Do you believe that there are Christians who refuse to argue against arguments made against Christianity? Do you believe that there are Christians who lack the ability to do so, and if there are, is it due to the teachings of others against being able to do so, or just a lack of knowledge themselves?

Im curious about the thoughts of others on this issue.
When my heart was first changed, I avoided defending Christ above just a suggestion. Then when my faith grew a tiny bit I was angry by anyone saying anything against Jesus... to the point of aggression. Then as I continued to seek God and learn more about him, I changed again and just use scripture or ask questions. (not that I often speak to anyone these days, outside of CC)
 
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Feb 7, 2015
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#64
No, you "composed" the post on how everyone but one (and you) were wrong as a starting point...

... which, indeed was shoving your point down everyone's throat, and unrelated to YB's OP.
Then, if he felt that way, THAT is the post he should have complained about. But he didn't. He specifically quoted another post.

I can't read either his mind, nor yours about what you might be REALLY talking about.
 
Feb 7, 2015
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#65
When my heart was first changed, I avoided defending Christ above just a suggestion. Then when my faith grew a tiny bit I was angry by anyone saying anything against Jesus... to the point of aggression. Then as I continued to seek God and learn more about him, I changed again and just use scripture or ask questions. (not that I often speak to anyone these days, outside of CC)
You, Sir, seem to understand well, "Maturing in the Word."
 

bluto

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2016
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#66
Well some people are more gifted than others. Sometimes its a lack of knowledge (yea sometimes ppl just dont have the backbone either). I gotta say that in some circumstances its better to be silent and sometimes its better to speak out.
Also after a while u do get tired of arguments, especially when often people are only out to attack the faith instead of asking questions and being sensible
Thats just my opinion tho
Listen sister, it's not a matter of being gifted or even not being knowledgeable. In fact, please read what Moses said and what God said at Exodus 3:11-14. :eek:

IN GOD THE SON,
bluto
 

Yeraza_Bats

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#67
Also after a while u do get tired of arguments, especially when often people are only out to attack the faith instead of asking questions and being sensible
Thats just my opinion tho
Oh thats definitely true, Ive been there too : p I think thats a situational thing. If its like a friend whos doing it one on one with you personally, Id totally try to change the subject and chill out a bit : p But if you have like a group of friends, and one starts telling the others about why the Christian God is evil (which has happened to me, and Im sure others), thats when I would usually want to say something. Not for the person saying such things, but for my other friends listening to them.
 

Yeraza_Bats

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#68
Hi Yeraza,

Excellent OP. :)

What to do for the seeker - always be ready to give an answer
1 Peter 3:13-16 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

This should be easy.......Give a mini testimony as God leads. Why do you have hope in God? What has He done for you in your life? How did you get saved?

For those who oppose the truth of the gospel - contend for the faith
Jude 1:3,4
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.


Reasons why some don't contend or give an account

Fear
Shy
Immature
Christian in name only
Lack of biblical knowledge

Think it's wrong to share their faith/it's a personal thing
Haven't been discipled or mentored themselves
Are a babe in Christ
Want to be liked/fear of man
Aren't totally surrendered to God

There's lots more we could add to the list, but I see it as a command to contend for the faith. Many leave gentleness and reverence at home or lost it along the way. That's what we need to practice and that's another reason why some don't share. They're not contentious and that's all they see mostly of those who do contend for the faith. :(




And do not fear their intimidation
I used to struggle with that a ton : p I remember when I first started coming to Him, and I mean even in my old life, I had to defend why I was looking into coming to Christ to the people I knew at the time. And I was always terrified by the idea, haha.
I have learned that through prayer and faith, we can totally overcome intimidation : p

For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
That was me in my old life. I started calling myself a Christian, but my message was really nothing more than "God wants you to accept my lifestyle".
I did have a Christian friend at the time, as Ive said many times now : p And one night when we were talking, he completely opened up about me and my lifestyle, and just laid it all down about why it was wrong, in every biological way possible. And at the time I was pretty offended, of course. (Keep in mind he wasnt going out of his way to be offensive, he had reason) But now that my life has been changed, Im really happy he did. The things he talked to me in the past when I first started to kinda sorta come to Him have really helped me on my path to Him.

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You gave me a thought though, what do people think of those who want to "contend" for the faith. Like, if someone has a desire to defend Christianity. Not necessarily by like becoming a famous debater or anything like that, though I guess you can include that as such people obviously exist : p Just in general, though.

Im not gonna argue with anyone about whether theyre right or wrong, I just wanna hear others thoughts on the subject.
 

Yeraza_Bats

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#69
Apologetics is like evangelism. It's good to be ready if the occasion comes up, but that doesn't mean everyone is gifted in it.

I admire the woman who brought hubby to the Lord. Future-hubby (since I didn't know him back then) was the quintessential argumentative, arrogant, atheistic ass we've all met somewhere in our lives. Worse than most, because he had spent a couple of years studying the different religions of the world, and picked up a bit of healing through meditation in the process. (It works.) And he thought it was his duty to pull Christians away from the Lord. (He was good at it for the nominal christian too.)

The woman who brought him to the Lord was the wife of his co-worker/friend, and co-worker invited him (and his then-wife) to dinner. He spent the night arguing scripture with her, because he also memorized the usual scriptural arguments atheist just google nowadays. But she knew the Bible inside out and backwards, so every scripture he came up with, she could find (and this is in the days before at-home computers) and read in context to disprove his theory.

Three weeks of that, and each night he was angrier and angrier. And, it didn't help that she had a women's bible study, so her friends were praying that his self-healing would stop working. (He's allergic to chemical cleaners, but he was an HVAC mechanic so had to use them all the time. He had a rash on his hands that he could meditate away. When her friends started praying, not only did the rash not go away, it went up his arms. Peachy keen, arrogant atheist who itched and bled. lol)

On that last night on the way home, for the first time, he contemplated killing her. Last night, because the next morning he woke up regenerated -- born again.

Let's just say, because of that I have a special place in my heart for apologetic. I do contend for the faith, although I think it's more of a hobby than a gift. We all need to. We just don't know if God will place his next kid in front of us to be saved.

I also find it comes in handy with supposed Christians too. We also don't really know if the Christian we're talking to really is a Christian or just thinks he/she is.

And it also comes in handy for edifying the saints too.

No down side to contending, until we discover we can't. Which, if we are believers isn't a downside either. It's a good reason to learn more.

Oh yeah. Youve made me think actually, I wasnt really trying to shame anyone who doesnt do such things. They may have good reasons. Admittingly, I do dislike the idea of anyone preaching that we shouldnt do it, but that wasnt really why I started the thread. But I can totally understand that not everyone is going to be able to stand in front of a group and defend Christianity.

I mean, Im not the person to do that either : p I can do it like one on one, I guess, if I actually study and junk, and most of my arguments I just borrow from people wiser than me anyway : p But I agree, Im really glad there are people who do defend the faith.


Youre story reminded me of a story though, back when I was very against Christianity, I remember talking with a Christian. We were talking about the origins of the world and all that, I cant remember the specific topic though. But he brought up something from the Bible, and said "the Bible says", and I rudely scoffed and responded with "the Bible says alot of things".

Looking back now, I really regret that. Was a really crappy way to talk to him. I could have just said "oh, sorry. I dont believe in the Bible", but I totally just scoffed at him like I was better.

I often pray that the Lord humbles me, cuz Ive totally been a jerk in the past : p
 

Desertsrose

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2016
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#70
I used to struggle with that a ton : p I remember when I first started coming to Him, and I mean even in my old life, I had to defend why I was looking into coming to Christ to the people I knew at the time. And I was always terrified by the idea, haha.
I have learned that through prayer and faith, we can totally overcome intimidation : p



That was me in my old life. I started calling myself a Christian, but my message was really nothing more than "God wants you to accept my lifestyle".
I did have a Christian friend at the time, as Ive said many times now : p And one night when we were talking, he completely opened up about me and my lifestyle, and just laid it all down about why it was wrong, in every biological way possible. And at the time I was pretty offended, of course. (Keep in mind he wasnt going out of his way to be offensive, he had reason) But now that my life has been changed, Im really happy he did. The things he talked to me in the past when I first started to kinda sorta come to Him have really helped me on my path to Him.

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You gave me a thought though, what do people think of those who want to "contend" for the faith. Like, if someone has a desire to defend Christianity. Not necessarily by like becoming a famous debater or anything like that, though I guess you can include that as such people obviously exist : p Just in general, though.

Im not gonna argue with anyone about whether theyre right or wrong, I just wanna hear others thoughts on the subject.

I was greatly intimidated by others before and after Christ. But as I grew in the faith and began to study the scriptures and through prayer and growing in the Lord, I became more confident in Christ and in what I believe.

I can still have a tendency to be intimidated, but not like before. The Lord helps me through it all. I would never have dreamed of speaking to a stranger, but now, I don't see others as strangers, but as people who need something that I have.

A gift that can be shared that may help to direct their journey from the path to hell and help them step into the path that leads to eternal life through the new birth. :) It's totally a work of the Lord. I asked Him to change me......I use to be a very shy person.

I have never dreamed of being a debater or a contender. It just happens when I engage my friends in real life or on here. It's something that happens the more I do a serious study of God's word with a group of believers.

Thanks for sharing your story. I've never read that in other threads. That's the funny thing, we're all attracted to different topics for discussion and we end up not interacting with many here. :) So it was nice to read more about your life and where you've come from and where you're headed. What a kind and loving friend to share the truth with you.

If I had read this thread when I was a new believer or even 10 years into my new life, my response here would be much different. I would have been the shy one without courage. :)

To be honest - with us, the church, I think we do a lousy job in discipling new believers. The more I learn, the more I grow in confidence of what I believe in. The stronger I am in the faith and in His truth, the more courageous I feel in Christ.

I'm studying 2 Peter with a group right now. It's pretty powerful what Peter had to say. It was right before his death and he was warning the saints about the false teachers that were about to infiltrate the church with their lies and deception.

We're just on chapter 1, but what a powerful chapter it is. :)

Verses 2 and 3 say......."Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence."

God's divine power gives us all we need that pertains to life and godliness ..... and how does this divine power work in us? Through the true knowledge of God who called us by His own glory and excellence. We're to grow in the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. :)

Later in chapter 2 we'll study about the false teachers and what is the false knowledge of God.

This is where it's so important to contend for the faith. We need to contend for the true knowledge of God and expose the false knowledge of God.

Every time I get into a study it continually reminds me of how important it is to read the word, study it and know it for ourselves. Paul told Timothy to diligently study to show himself approved to God, as a workman who rightly divides the word or truth so he would not be ashamed. The word of God is very powerful.

It reminds me of your story you shared. It's the boldness of your friend who spoke to you in love and in kindness to draw you out of your life of sin.....to bring things to the light so that they could be exposed for what they really were. And there you found true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. And that true knowledge gave you divine power to live godly and grace and peace is multiplied to you.

Thanks again for sharing some of your story. It encourages me and reminds me of how mighty and powerful God is! God bless you!!!
 

Demi777

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2014
6,877
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Germany
#71
yea well Moses couldnt talk well so God sent Aaron to do the talking :p God sends people with the needed gifts into the right place.All can defend the gospel, but not all can do it in the special touching way like someone with the gift. Everyone has his own place in the Body of Christ

Listen sister, it's not a matter of being gifted or even not being knowledgeable. In fact, please read what Moses said and what God said at Exodus 3:11-14. :eek:

IN GOD THE SON,
bluto
 

Demi777

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2014
6,877
1,949
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Germany
#72
I can sometimes just feel when the Holy Spirit promts me to speak up with '' If you deny me infront of your friends, I will deny you infront of my father" and in other times Its ''not yet, pray"
I dont avoid it around my friends. ALL of my friends know im Christian, which has shown to kinda impress and facinate people lol
God bless ya

Oh thats definitely true, Ive been there too : p I think thats a situational thing. If its like a friend whos doing it one on one with you personally, Id totally try to change the subject and chill out a bit : p But if you have like a group of friends, and one starts telling the others about why the Christian God is evil (which has happened to me, and Im sure others), thats when I would usually want to say something. Not for the person saying such things, but for my other friends listening to them.
 
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Depleted

Guest
#73
Then, if he felt that way, THAT is the post he should have complained about. But he didn't. He specifically quoted another post.

I can't read either his mind, nor yours about what you might be REALLY talking about.
Why not? By now I get your main point? Your main point is to protect all unbelievers and young people from Christians who aren't like you.

It doesn't take mind reading by now.
 

Blain

The Word Weaver
Aug 28, 2012
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#74
I am not against defending the faith but I think personally actions speak more than words, I have never reached anyone by defending my beliefs and I have been made fun of for my beliefs but I simply plant the seed and if they mock and laugh then i act no different than I do to anyone else and I let my heart be spoken through how I act speak and treat others.

I have been called a rare sort by almost every person I have reached whether they are saved or not, when I talk about God I TALK about god I mean I have this passion and excitement just from speaking about him and people tend to see something in me when this happens that they have only heard of in other believers. Not that i can take any credit of course but maybe some are called to defend the faith and maybe some are called to defend it by showing it
 
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pottersclay

Guest
#75
For me personally, I shy away from discussing faith with unbelievers because I rarely see them accept any kind of answer. Most people these days have heard Christian teaching. Their mind is already made up. You can find one or two people who are truly open to new ideas, but they're rare.

Wonder what would of happened if Jesus did that?.......let's say to you or me or...anyone else.