Have you ever met one of those people who absolutely despise the Christian faith? Well I know I have, and I am often at a loss concerning the best way to deal with such a person. Do I try and explain why my faith is strong? Do I let them vent, lashing out at the Gospel that I hold so dear, never offering a counterpoint? After all, is a heart so hardened open to any other direction? I believe it probably isnít, at least not at that moment.
It is part of the Christian nature to want all to share the amazing good news we have discovered, but when we try and rebut those that are openly hostile to our faith, we may be doing more harm than good. I know people, and I imagine we all do, who were at one point in their lives devoted to the rejection of the narrow path Jesus endorsed, demanded, and led. Years later, we happen to meet up with those same people, now on fire for Jesus. Often, we are completely astounded by the amazing transformation that has taken place.
People who find the need to ridicule the Christian faith usually fall into one of three categories: They have never been very spiritual, and believe it is a useless practice. They have embraced a religion that may be in direct conflict with the claims of Christianity. Or lastly, they have studied the tenets of the Christian faith and find them out of reach for their current lifestyle.
Now remember, I said people who ridicule the Christian faith usually fall into one of these three categories, not always. I am quite aware that there is a myriad of other reasons people give for being openly hostile to the Gospel message. As Christians, we must respond with caution when dealing with these people. God wants them in His kingdom with equal urgency. We must learn to empathize with others who have their reasons for angry rejection, especially since many of us have come from such beginnings concerning our faith.
For those that have never been spiritual, there is the hope that the Holy Spirit will one day put a spark in their heart. For those that have embraced a religion that is in direct conflict with the Christian faith, there is the possibility they will stumble upon the narrow path and find it a path to spiritual renewal. And for those that have rejected the Christian faith as being to restrictive, there is the opportunity for them to discover that there is a more abundant life on the path that drowns out the darkness with eternal light.
If we are to be ministers of faith to those that are actively seeking or actively rejecting, we must do our best to understand why some are hostile toward our faith. We must remain vigilant against giving the enemy (Satan) more weapons at which to spread false accusations against the Christian faith.
I recommend two books that are great tools to use in the spiritual battle Iíve just outlined. The first is C.S. Lewisís Mere Christianity. The second book is called Letters from a Skeptic, by Dr. Gregory A. Boyd and Edward K. Boyd. Each of these books can help Christians understand why some people are filled with hateful rejection of the Christian faith, and the more we understand how to address or avoid such volatile arguments.
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My heart is sad for those who do not feel the love, peace, and gentle spirit that comes with knowing our Father. You point our a wonderful topic in your line, "I know people...who were at one point in their lives devoted to the rejection of the narrow path...Years later...now on fire for Jesus." I am thankful that with Jesus comes change and a change of heart. Thank you for sharing your work. May our Father bless you richly.