It is funny how YouTube will know what to suggest to you. I didn’t ask for it, but recently a video showed up on my screen about a lot of supposed contradictions in the Bible. They felt the contradictions were “obvious.” My interest peaked, I clicked on it and listened for a moment. Now I am NOT encouraging anyone to read YouTube comments – unless edited they can be very crude. However, I wanted to see who would take him to task for his assertions. To my dismay, no one, not a single person was challenging him. Instead most were glowing comments about how he had done such a wonderful job and now they didn’t have to believe the Bible. Normally I don’t say anything but since no one else had I jumped in and challenged him. I told him if he could get sponsored then we could have a formal debate. He agreed to exchange information. Now I’m not holding my breath about this situation. Usually these things break down for one reason or another, but the point I want to make has nothing to do with whether he follows up with me or not.
I want know how it is possible that all the people out there claiming Christianity don’t respond quickly to defend God’s word. This particular channel had over 100,000 subscribers and you know that if it showed up in my feed then it was in many, many others that claim to be Christian. Why does a little country preacher have to take up the defense of the Gospel? Don’t we have whole organizations, both in and out of the church, dedicated to dealing with apologetics?
It is my impression that the church has become much less vigorous in promoting the Gospel and defending it. You want to know why so many feel smug and self-righteous when it comes to religion? It partially has to do with no one challenging them to think about their set of beliefs. When you have preachers and elders constantly looking inward to the flock they fail to see the need for spiritually militant outreach. The people are “out there” folks. They are not in an office, not even in your worship services as a general rule. Paul went to the synagogues (cf. Acts 13, Acts 14 & especially Acts 17:1-2), he went to the marketplace (Acts 17:17) and he went into their houses (Acts 20:20). In this modern day and age we could also say the people are on their YouTube channel, they are on their social media.
I am afraid we are no longer engaging the world. If you are patient you will find souls willing to change. We have really struggled where I preach to get converts. I just baptized a lady out of denominationalism. The Bible study took about 6 months. Never give up. Never think your labor is in vain. One of my elders recently looked upon the hard field of labor in America and the many enemies of the church and told me, “We are just going to have to outwork them.” He is so right. The world is not going to like it, but in the end it could mean their salvation.
There aren’t many positive messages I can get out of Lot in the Old Testament, but here is a big one: Peter says that Lot was troubled by the evil of his neighbors (2 Peter 2:7). Lot decided not to take it laying down and when the people came to mistreat him they gave Lot his greatest praise: This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge… (Gen 19:9 KJV) They were indignant because Lot called them out on their immorality. This is why he was called a righteous man by God. May we have courage to defend the gospel and be active enough with it to “outwork” the devil.
-Tim McHenry, TBC Online Instructor