Apologists –  Defenders of the Gospel or Rude Loud Mouths?

By Patrick Hawthorne

argue

 

 

I wrote this back in 2015 but in light of some things I have been seeing of late, I think it is time for a re-post. And yes, I am pointing the finger back at myself lest you – the reader – get your drawers in a bunch thinking it is to you alone that I refer.  Awww, heck.  Let’s make this part one of who knows how many…

Since starting a blog, I have been introduced to many other blog writers with varying genre and writing styles. While most are Christian based, one in particular is written by a person who is not atheist, in the sense of true atheism, but is more on the agnostic side.  You might be wondering why I would follow this type blog but I assure you my reasoning is very sound.  I’m interested in the responses from other readers, especially those professing to be Christian.

To back track a bit, a couple of years ago I was listening to the radio and happened to stumble across a debate between an apologist and an atheist.  To my dismay and embarrassment, the apologist was walking in everything but love.  When the atheist, who was keeping an even and polite tone, would make an argument the apologist would raise his voice in defense.  Although it was on the radio, I pictured the apologist pointing a defiant finger towards the atheist.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am all about defending the Gospel.  However, some who considering themselves defending the Gospel are nothing more than rude loud mouths looking for a fight.  Instead of reading the Word for growth, they read the Word looking for ways to defend their arguments.

Many have a list of arguments at the ready.  “If they say this, then I will say that.”  Web page after web page is devoted to arguments for certain topics. This is not Christianity and is certainly not what Paul meant when he instructed us to have a reasoned defense for why we believe what we believe.

In my research of the New Testament, I found one common thread among all who were recorded as defending the Gospel.  That one thread is the Holy Spirit.  These defenders were not speaking from a list of prefabricated arguments, but were speaking as the Holy Spirit gave them unction.  They were not out looking for a fight, but defended the Gospel when the fight was brought to them.  Furthermore, they did it in love.  Yes, their words may have been harsh at times, but their motives were pure.

Love is patient and kind, not boastful and proud.  The quickest way to convince an unbeliever to not follow Jesus is to prove them right.  After all, they already think Christianity is just another religion filled with hot air and nonsense.  If you truly want to defend the Gospel, ask the Holy Spirit to speak through you.  He will use your words with laser like precision.  Be blessed!

The quickest way to convince an unbeliever to not follow Jesus is to prove them right.   Patrick Hawthorne

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Posted in Christian, teaching, writing
18 comments on “Apologists –  Defenders of the Gospel or Rude Loud Mouths?
  1. This is excellent.

    I was agnostic, almost an atheist, for many years. The people who tried to bully and shame me into believing, only succeeded in driving me further away. But when I met a group of Christian believers who consistently treated me with kindness, compassion, and respect — then I was able to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This made me think of James White who demeans anyone he debates. I think there *may* be a good purpose for the occasional debate, but there are few who can handle themselves with dignity and godliness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Donald Norris says:

    Patrick,

    I sure hope you weren’t listening to R.C. Sproul.

    Don

    Like

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Still timely and still good

    Like

  5. SLIMJIM says:

    I believe this was one of the first dozen or so posts I read from your blog

    Like

  6. Mel Wild says:

    Amen Patrick. Love your quote, too. Let’s stop convincing unbelievers they are right about us!

    I would add that we should know why we believe in a reasoned and thought-out way, but as you said, let the Holy Spirit guide what we say in the conversation. And the Holy Spirit always does it with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal.5:22-23). When it doesn’t come out this way, we can pretty much know it’s not Him leading. 🙂

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  7. Amen, Patrick! We’re supposed to be “always prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in us.” Some people leave out the “hope” part and still others seem to suck it right out the room.

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  8. Lol…I can always depend on you to put a unique spin on a subject.

    Like

  9. Autumn Cote says:

    Would you be OK if I cross-pogsted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

    Like

  10. Jared says:

    I remember a friend joking that debate is about who’s right, a discussion is about what is right. I love to see blogs with conversational apologetics instead of apologists trying to trash others. The same in evangelism – people seeking out of love to introduce friends to Christ, as opposed to bullhorn preachers and the like trying to “win” people as if it’s a game and converts are notches on their belts!

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  11. I’d like to know your opinion about where Jesus went if He took his body with Him. I don’t think there’s anything but stars and planets and moons for a very long distance. I think that about proves that God is the only being that’s a spirit and all his creation is flesh.

    Like

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