“No way Christianity is anything but a big joke. Just a bunch of hypocrites judging everyone else and talking to the air like there's someone listening. Seriously, no one but an idiot could really buy into that nonsense.” The tone was derisive and Josh's heart immediately started pounding.
He was fresh out of college, the new guy, sitting in the break room eating his lunch and trying to make friends. Somehow today's lunchtime chat session had turned from last night's big game to the cosmic battle of good vs. evil.
He continued eating his sandwich, although it had become like dust in his mouth. What was he supposed to say? One part of him said, “You could start an argument. Then where would the love be?” while another part said, “You can't let them talk like that without standing up for your faith,” while another said, “If you don't argue it's not like you're agreeing with them. You're just not making a big deal out of it.”
Speak the truth in love, Josh. Hardly able to hear himself over his own heartbeat, the words tumbled out before he could lose his courage. “Many really intelligent people have been Christians throughout the centuries. I think maybe you've never heard anyone communicate the Gospel effectively before.”
Suddenly the laughter and chatter stopped. Everyone stared.
“Are you saying I don't know what I'm talking about? You must be one of those wackos who believes all that hocus-pocus stuff.” The voice was belligerent and defensive.
Josh swallowed another bite and looked Kyle square in the eye, now feeling more confident. “It's not hocus-pocus, it's not nonsense and yes, I do believe in it. Christianity is the Truth. I'd be happy to talk with you about it sometime.”
“That'll be the day. Don't try to shove your so-called Truth down my throat. Just be tolerant of other people's beliefs, okay? Let's go, guys.” Kyle and his cronies moved out of the break room, laughing and shoving at each other. Not exactly a glowing evangelistic encounter, Josh thought, but probably not the worst either.
One man left at the table leaned over. “You handled that pretty well. I'm never really sure what to say. What are you, some kind of preacher's kid or something?”
Josh just laughed. “No. I grew up in a Christian home but when I got to college I started looking around, listening to the world's views on things from my friends and professors. I kind of walked away from the faith. Then I found CrossExamined.org. I took a reasoned look at Christianity and chose it as my own faith, not my parents'. I also vowed then that I would be ready to stand up for myself and my faith. If I speak with love and use the Sword of the Spirit, I can't really go wrong. Check out the resources. You'll gain confidence and courage. And you need to. It's that important!”