Are We Supposed To Defend Christianity?
1 Timothy 1:3 – When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth.
First thing we need to note is that there is a truth, in our key scripture, it’s called “the truth”. What is the truth? well it’s the message of the gospel, what Christ came to do, how we receive salvation as a result of what He has done, and how we grow in it. Reading through PreachDigest you’ll notice that we carefully explain all of these in our articles and digests, so you can head on to previous digests or articles to learn more about them.
From our key scripture, we see that there were people at that time who were teaching a message contrary to the truth. It hasn’t stopped though, there are and will always be people who will teach messages contrary to the truth. For some people, it’s as a result of genuine ignorance, for some it may be pride or even the influence of demons, but whatever the reason, we can conclude that false/wrong teaching is bad. The admonishing given to Timothy was to stop them. In this digest we’ll be talking about how to stop them. It’s a worthy point to note that stopping them does not entail arguing with them, we’ll speak about that later in this digest.
Just like Timothy was admonished, it is actually our responsibility to “defend” the faith, and the truth, this does a good job of preventing the spread of false messages about Jesus. However, defending the faith does not involve using weapons, or arguments, in fact we are admonished to stay far away from such arguments.
2 Timothy 2:23 – Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights
We are to defend the faith by teaching sound doctrine and gently, and patiently correcting those who may oppose the truth. Arguments never solve anything, neither do fights, but the way we are to defend the faith is to teach what is true, and encourage others to do same.
2 Timothy 2: 25 – Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth
There is a manner we are to correct, and it’s gently, remember it’s not an argument, so when you correct errors, do it with the recipients dignity in mind, it’s not a show of knowledge, remember, but it’s an attempt to ensure that the truth about Christ spreads rather than what is not true about Him.
2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching
Finally, you should teach the truth, don’t defend the message by fighting or arguing, but do it through the preaching of sound doctrine. So people, there’s nothing wrong in correcting what is false, but do it gently to those who may teach it, and invest your time teaching sound doctrine to those who are learning or being disciple’d, it’ll ensure that only truths about Christ are being put out there.
I pray for wisdom and courage to teach the truth, I pray that I reach out to many people with the truth of the word, amen.
Author – Gem