(1) We all appreciate kindness and love. “sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Prov 16.21 NAS); . . . .”speaking the truth in love” (Eph 5.15 NAS). (2) A Christian’s objective in a conversation or post should not be to win the argument at all costs but offer the gospel. Think long term. In John 3, Jesus planted good seed in Nicodemus’ heart which did not blossom until later (Jn 19.39-40); (3) Outsiders to the faith cannot understand it–1 Corinthians. 2.14; 1.18. If there is any openness or curiosity, show patience; (4) Ask questions that open up inside a person’s assumptions–prompt him to rethink his own views. Ex: “If not Judeo-Christian, what is your world view?” . . . “Atheism has no basis for objective morality. Naturalism is admittedly amoral. Yet you speak of evil–blaming God for it. What moral standard are you using?” (5) Inquire as to his agenda. Why is he discussing it at all? Has he got just endless, recreational, bull session questions? Is there one burning question in his soul, keeping him from coming to Jesus? Or is he asking a question he has asked many times before? If so, shift the focus; (6) Does he realize that every other world view beyond the Judeo-Christian world view is even less credible? Other world views have even more issues as to origin, meaning in life, morality and destiny. This includes: atheism, Hinduism, Islam and others. (7) It takes two to argue. Avoid arguments. They tend to get worse not better. Don’t be pulled down out of the spirit and in the flesh. Jesus said, ” . . do not throw your pearls before swine” (Matt 7.6 NAS). Like trying to feed a dead cat is reasoning with persistent scoffers and God mockers. (Prov 17.12,27,28). (8) Let the Holy Spirit lead you in conversation. (8) Be gracious but open and honest. (9) Loving Jesus had lots of enemies, many were deeply religious people. Godly Christians make lost people uncomfortable. Expect some jabs, scoffing, negativity and unnecessary words. Ask God to show you when to love and accept and when to show tough love by avoiding strife, saying “Go in peace.” (10) It is the gospel that wins people not apologetics. Don’t think you have to have answers to every possible question. Bring the conversation to the Cross and Resurrection.
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