“If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don’t waste your time on a scoffer; all you’ll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it!” ~King Solomon | Proverbs 9:7-12 (The Message)
The wise will love us.
God is in a good mood.
Jesus challenges me “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” King Solomon and Jesus know more than a thing or two.
How many times do I try to reason reason with an arrogant cynic or a scoffer? Way to many. Somehow I think my wisdom and logic will win them over. There is no ROI to my investment of time. It probably is the ultimate time waster. All I hear is the sucking sound of falling down the rabbit hole.
The wonderful world of blogging, social media, comments and “liking” seduce me. Because I can, I think I should. Not true. My pearls are trampled on and lost in the mud. I’ve fed pigs before. It is actually pretty disgusting. There were 40 of us eating our meals in common. We would take everything after meals and put it in the slop bucket. Some days I would draw the short straw and have to “slop the hogs”. Yikes. If you’ve never had to do this you ought to give it a shot.
What does this mean for Apologetics? “Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse. Early Christian writers (c. 120–220) who defended their beliefs against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called Christian apologists. In 21st-century usage, apologetics is often identified with debates over religion and theology.” [Source: Wikipedia] Personally I don’t like to get into theological debates and spend much time arguing with atheists, agnostics and scoffers. I appreciate there are some who feel a calling to do so. May the Master Jesus bless them in their efforts.
Should I defend myself? Yes, there is a great case for this in 1 Peter 3:14-16. “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 [Greek word ἀπολογία apologia] 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 the Messiah will be put to shame.” This sounds a little different to me than “traditional” Apologetics but you can decide.
Should we correct anyone ever? King Solomon says “If you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it! Jesus challenges us to judge not but … He and the apostles recognized there is a place for bringing back our brother from missing God’s goal. “If your brother sins, go and how him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.”
Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!
Additional Resources you may be interested in
- Miracles of Jesus – How they reveal and confirm his Messianic credentials and the coming of God’s Kingdom
- Peacemakers – What is peace, how do we make it real and what is the promise of Jesus?
- God is good – Would that explain why God is in a good mood and does good? God is good y’all!
- Hypocrisy – What it is, why it is evil and hated by Jesus
- Everything Jesus had to say about the homeless, wealth, prosperity, poverty, riches, the poor, the needy and giving
- “Beware …” ~Jesus – What the New Testament has to say on deception by religions leaders
- What others say