Sheepdog 1.15: glorifying God and edifying others
I want to thank the fans and readership for all the support. The mission of ministry is perhaps best stated (simply-worded) as glorifying God and edifying (building up) others. I’m excited, and I hope to keep up with the pace I set previously, and to give at least one daily word of encouragement.
I’m scoped out a range of topics to carry this series from 1.15 to about 1.24. After that, it will continue or reset to 2.1, but it’s best to work on only a few projects a time and make them of quality. That’s why I cast vision, make it happen, and then repeat by planning a few more steps ahead.
In your walk (or search), remember to glorify God and edify others. Christians don’t need me to remind or badger of them of this ethic, but I say it’s still a useful motto for our efforts unto the non-Christian. Relative to Christianity, there are 3 types of people who compose the total audience out there. They are: Christians, non-Christians, and Christianophobes. By placing a non- in front of Christian, this is truly a neutral term of description. A non-Christian is someone who isn’t a Christian but they aren’t a phone, although they may be influenced by it.
I want to consider the case of Christianophobia, and this will segue into the next entry. First let’s establish an operational definition. For this, I quote from sociologist George Yates who said “I consistently saw evidence of Christianophobia in other areas of my life and in our society, unlike other types of intolerances, those who exhibited Christianophobia do not tend to think that they are intolerant. Usually those who do not like blacks or Muslims admit that they are intolerant but simply try to justify their intolerance. Those with Christianophobia tend to deny that they are intolerant but rather that they are fairly interpreting social reality. Envisioning themselves as fair and free of intolerance allows them to blame those they detest rather than recognize how their emotions have distorted their intellectual judgments” in an interview with the Christian Post.
I am a non-apologetic case-maker, which means that I do not say sorry for being a Christian believer. There really is no need at all for us to apologize to the world for our Christianity, and it would be morally inappropriate to do so. Instead, I try to go about it as in “did you know there’s much more to this story of the gospel (good news) than you may realize?”
On the one hand, I have an ability to write a lot without burning myself out. In that sense, case-making is easy writing (for me personally), and our Lord has given us a super-abundance of grace and faith-building evidence that we may work with. These are what I develop into case-making sets of respectful argumentation, and there are many luminaries in the field such as William Lane Craig and J. Warner Wallace, to name only two. C.S. Lewis, who is now deceased, was also a case-maker in his time. His book “Mere Christianity” is considered an excellent resource for new seekers who are trying to build a foundation for rational belief in God for the first time.
On the other hand, actually reaching people and urging them to consider a change of mind and/or heart, this part is much more challenging and it can even be discouraging. The challenge is one that ultimately makes us better case-makers, teachers, evangelists, and so on. It brings us closer to God, and we learn to depend on God and God alone. We learn to pray more fervently for the Holy Spirit’s leadership to guide us.
All of the above makes a decent introduction for the next half of this series. We continue to build upon our top themes, and two of them are: to glorify God and edify others, and to speak truth with grace. Recall that truth is sharp and divisive. Part of what it means to edify others is to defend them against vicious attacks and verbal abuse, and to instruct them in a kind of spiritual counter-offensive. That is the spirit that motivates the rest of this post.
When I write over social media and among comment boards (I will tell you the most common reactions within a few lines from now), I am basically attempting to minister unto the Christianophobe and the leftist. I’m starting to suspect that this is totally futile. Nevertheless, there are some classical liberals, some non-phobic non-Christians (non-Christians who aren’t true Christianophobes), and even some independents who are caught up in these circles that teach lies. These are the people who I’m chiefly interested when I evangelize in those web places, and we may even reach a few of the most hardened hearts when we present our reasonable faith.
Lastly, to do so and to attempt persuasive writing deep in hostile stronghold territory, this raises the difficulty level and forces me to improve my game. 9 in 10 people may be outraged to read a pro-Christian statement, but what about the 1 in 10? I look forward to being ridiculed by people who spew ignorance unto me while also accusing me of being ignorant, as this can create a contrast that may enlighten the less radicalized leftist or whoever.
Recall that leftists believe in creating “safe spaces” free of “emotional triggers,” most infamously on college campuses. In these safe spaces, the beliefs of anti-christians and Christianophobes (hereafter abbreviated as AC/CP) aren’t meant to be challenged or criticized. They want to have it all, in essence: to have their beliefs and not be challenged, yet their beliefs include the idea that Christians are terrible and ought to be demonized (remember the Yates quote; CP believes it’s a fair treatment and non-bigotry).
So if you even protest that narrative, no matter how compassionately and reasonably so, then automatically you have committed the secular equivalent of sin. Let’s make no mistake about this point: AC/CP and radical secularists, they absolutely have their own version of secular sin for which secular penance is required, which usually involves GIVING MONEY to leftist groups and leftist industries. Does anyone else notice the irony here?
Anyway, the most common reaction from AC/CP persons is that they will tell you to shut up. They will deploy cheap one-liners that do not address a single valid point that you raised. Here’s one final trend that I want to expose before moving on. That is, what’s the deal with AC/CP who try and shame and badger Christians by quoting Scripture and then telling us that we’re doing it wrong and out of line? What? Do they even realize how ignorant, selective, and dead wrong their fake “knowledge” of Scripture is?
Here are several of the most famous and memorable verses that AC/CP LOVE to cite in their arguments against Christian speech in public spaces.
Love thy neighbor (Matthew 22:39 and Mark 12:31)
Love all people and pray for enemies (Matthew 5:44)
Turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39 and Luke 6:29)
Now it’s true that these are commands given to us by Jesus, and these are important verses. They do not command us to shut up and do nothing while abominable evil overspreads the whole planet.
While it’s clear that AC/CP would greatly enjoy it if we were to be silently submissive and allow them to spew unchallenged lies that demonize us, that’s not how it works. Let’s consider some OTHER verses from the other 780,000 words of the Book that AC/CP love to dismiss-and-ignore while also claiming falsely to be an expert on it. They simply cannot live up to their own hypocrisy and double standard, and it’s on that basis that their worldview collapses like the house of cards that it is. The AC/CP and leftist people who I describe of this more radicalized variety, they really cannot handle any kind of criticism without sustaining a narcissist injury. Keep in mind that I’m an ex-Democrat and an ex-agnostic who changed my mind after learning some facts.
Anyway, here are a few verses that tell us to rebuke evil. The Bible version is always KJV unless stated otherwise.
Psalm 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.
Another translation (for the plain English) is NIV: The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.
Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Ephesians 5:11 (ESV) Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
There we have it, Christianophobia exposed for the evil lie that it is. This is what they are teaching our children in public schools. The next post (1.16) will be something like “Mixed Topics: case-making in practice.”
Research and Resource (links reiterated):