Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
- 2 Timothy 2:22-26
“What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience.”
- C. S. Lewis, Miracles
I know. It is not a weekend, but this has been on my mind for a long time.
Have you ever had a non-believer who says that they want you to argue for the existence of God – a ‘friendly’ discussion, but you cannot use the Bible as a resource, nor can you use the concept of intelligent design, nor can you …
They continue to list, as off limits, all things that they have no answer for.
They do not wish to enter an intellectual discussion. They wish to goad you into a foolish argument, the kind that the Apostle Paul warns us against in 2 Timothy 2:23. But I copied that entire paragraph. Paul does tell us to speak up, just not in a quarrelsome method and mind set.
As Paul suggests, our opponents must be gently instructed. The key is to do so without getting frustrated (my problem). In getting frustrated, we can easily slip into that mode of being quarrelsome. We must, me included, understand that God is in control. If our ‘opponent’ (to stick with Paul’s terminology) has had a heart prepared by the Holy Spirit, then our opponent will at least listen to what we have to say.
If not, if mockery ensues, it is best to walk away.
Jesus told us to go, spread the Gospel, and teach. He did not say it would be easy.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.