Dangers (Risks to Watch Out For)
March 7, 2021 Speaker: Paul Mulner Series: Share THE Faith
Dangers in these conversations (What can go wrong?)
- Contentious Behavior
- Peter tells us to have these conversations “with gentleness and respect.” But some people simple just like to fight.
- These conversations should not prove our intellect or the soundness of our faith. They should prove the truth and majesty of God.
- 2 Tim 2:24-26 - 24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
- If you defend the faith with a degree of success and if you study it a lot, there is the temptation to become prideful. This is not just sinful, but also problematic – coming off as arrogance in our contact with unbelievers.
- As you get more clear answers, there may be a tendency (conscious or not) to belittle other Christians who struggle with these things. We need to genuinely address the struggles of others.
- Isaiah 42:3a – bruised reed, smoldering wick. Telling the difference between this and the “haughty, arrogant” and the “fool” is critical.
- We will not convert anyone. Humble thyself.
- Other side of that coin: despair
- God will call his own to himself. Your “failures” don’t bring the Kingdom of God crashing to the ground.
3. Temptation to Compromise
We want respect. We want to be liked. We want to get along.
- These instincts are dangerous in this context because they tempt us to downplay the differences and compromise doctrines. (This is a big problem in the sympathy/empathy debate IMO.)
- The truth of Scripture, the exclusivity of the gospel…these are easy to give away
- If we are going to engage in these conversations effectively (God honoring) we must be willing to look foolish in the eyes of the world. There’s glory in this because it’s true, it’s God-honoring, and it connects us with Christ and his reproach.