Thursday, February 9, 2017

Defending Christianity in Modern America


By:  Michael Kaplan, author of "7 Pillars of an Unshakable Christian Faith"


Faithful Christians are under spiritual and physical assault in our modern world, and their challenges are greater than at any other time in recent history. 

Hostile religions, anti-faith ideology and politically correct governments are literally trying to destroy Christianity at its core. Concurrently, activists pursuing an anti-God agenda are attempting to rewrite the moral and ethical systems of our Western culture.

The doctrine of the “separation of Church and State” has evolved into “Suppression of Church and Secularism of State,” and contemporary Christians in the Body of Christ appear unprepared to stop the momentum of this movement.

If you were of the world, the world would love its own.
Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you
out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

~ John 15:19 ~

The external challenges faced by Christians aren’t limited to threats outside the faith; factions within the Body of Christ are having negative impacts as well. In a May 2016 interview with the Vatican’s official news publication, La Croix, Pope Francis made the following statement in response to the reporter’s question regarding Islamic terrorism:

Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest (emphasis added).

The Pope, whether intentionally or unintentionally, claims a moral equivalency exists between Christ’s Great Commission and the Islamic Terrorist’s goals of conquering Western culture and establishing an Islamic Caliphate. According to those words, a group of students sharing the Gospel at a university is similar to radicalized men in black hoods, beheading non-believers on international television. 

One of the solutions to this dilemma is training Christians in the art and skill of Apologetics. Christian Apologetics (ἀπολογία / apologesia) is a discipline of Christian theology that presents reasoned and evidential arguments for Christianity, defending it against objections. Why should Christians have an interest in this discipline? Because God’s Word, the Bible, commands it.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts,
and always be ready to give a defense to
everyone who asks you a reason for the hope
that is in you, with meekness and fear;

~ 1 Peter 3:15 ~

The modern culture in which Christians live is a product of Enlightenment philosophies that qualify reason and evidence-based knowledge as rational, and faith as irrational. This thought has been elevated to such a position of primacy that Christian doctrines and beliefs have been barred from “rational discourse.” 

From a strategic perspective, it’s the task of Christian Apologetics to develop and sustain a cultural environment in which the Gospel can be heard as a viable option, that can be intellectually reconciled, for rational men and women everywhere.

This reality is further complicated when well-meaning Christian leaders make statements such as, “No person has ever come to faith in Christ using intellectual arguments,” as an argument against the need for Apologetics programs in all but Seminary programs.

That rationale is shortsighted, as it fails to consider the real condition of modern Christians, and ignores the difference between necessity and utility. While not necessary for the Gift of Salvation through faith in Christ – that’s the sole responsibility and providence of the Holy Spirit – Apologetics is a powerful asset for demonstrating the need to have faith in Christ, and therefore provides substantial benefit.

The defense of Christianity is a responsibility shared by everyone professing faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior. I pray that the Holy Spirit guides you in your studies, and brings you to a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.  Be Blessed.

2 comments:

  1. Great article and needed words for current days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the positive feedback and support. Have a blessed weekend and stay well.

      Delete