I was humbled recently or should I say slapped in the face by my own hand? It was brought to my attention yesterday that during a “debate” with a Roman Catholic, that when things started heating up as sometimes they do, my focus on Jesus was lost. It then became a matter of pride and not Glorifying Jesus Christ. Sure there was vitriol and some name calling however is that what Jesus would want? I must quote the famous Bible passage that is the cornerstone of all Apologists and Christians called to “defend” the faith;
1 Peter 3: 15 (NASB) 15 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;
Peter states that we must defend with “gentleness and reverence”. Defending the word can become impassioned at times and we must remember those words from Peter. As an Apologist I sometimes want to go for the touchdown in one play, disregarding the value of a field goal. In other words I feel that I want to win this person over to God without remembering that this is a human being that has their own beliefs. The most effective way to be more effective as an Apologist, I believe, is to give small amounts of your defense and do it with love. If we do it any other way, we lose sight of what we are trying to achieve. It is easy to get hot under the collar and lose focus, but remember only God can save!
Proverbs 14: 29 (NASB) He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.