Sheepdog 1.16: case-making evangelism over social media
The following paragraphs (after these first 2; and 1 KJB passage) are an exchange that I had over social media. The Lord calls us all to work in different areas. Often there is overlap. The thread discussion was “are Christians morally superior over the rest of us?” This was a scenario where I simply had to jump in and defend truth and honor. I don’t desire to clash with people, but I can’t stand watching misinformed attacks against Jesus and His people go unanswered. This was done only a few days ago, which places it around the same time of writing as 1.15.
You’ll see how I try and bring it altogether, and I’ll let the three parts speak for themselves. The individual wasn’t really interested in what I had to say, because he already knows the answer to the thread topic question. This person believes that Christians are just terrible and anti-science. As I’ve established many times in previous writings and on our forum, Christianity and science are like best friends. Christianophobia is anti-science, and their irrational dogma blinds them to this truth. I held my ground and I took some verbal abuse, but any neutral observer would’ve known that I put many points on the board (basketball analogy), which he left unanswered, meanwhile putting practically zero points on the board. I didn’t include his comments, because (1) they don’t add any value, (2) you can figure out what he said from my counters, and (3) I want to respect his privacy. The key is to hold your ground without hurting people.
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
(Start: 1 of 3)
The short answer is no. It’s by Jesus that we’re sanctified, not by ourselves. But I think its a fair question to ask, since this is a belief and faith barrier and commonly articulated by unknowable millions of people. The key is that we’re confident that we’ve (either guessed or) arrived at the correct answer, and it’s strongly supported by facts and science.
It’s that proverb of “there are two types of people in the world: people who know everything, and those who don’t.” I identify with the 2nd group.
I have a large paper trail by now and the issue is not that it isn’t good case-making. The issue is that people have already made up their minds, and they are operating under a mental construct of some Christian strawman/Shadow who doesn’t actually exist in nature. Don’t forget that not everyone who claims to be a believer is, and this is what we call the counterfeit phenom. In many cases they will try to pretend to be us so that they can make us look terrible. Again, in cases of counterfeit + a depraved heart, these are people who absolutely despise Christians and will do anything to try and take-down the Church whether from outside or inside.
Yet, it won’t work, and media blitz won’t work either. They’ve been trying to physically kill off Christianity for some 2,000 years, and it just hasn’t happened. Using secular game theory, Christianity should not have been able to even survive past the first century without bleeding support and becoming a dead religion like Greco-Romanism. This is the case from ancient martyrdom, that they lacked the proper motivation to lie about this and nearly all of them gave their lives for the cause. And look at how the faith has multiplied into 2.2 billion professed Christians from America to Nigeria to China. No other religion comes anywhere close to that kind of global diversity. And yes, we received super-natural help or it wouldn’t have happened.
The biggest expansions of Christian faith always follow after a large democide/crackdown by government. Then the normal citizens look at all that persecution and they think, well, if Christianity is false, then why not just let them preach and have their religion, like the Hindus and Muslims and the Buddhists all have? That’s not what happens in secular America, where there is a special contempt for Christians. Yea it makes sense* that some of that has to do with our unshakable certainty in the truth, which drives people nuts. There is both an ancient and modern version of this culture war.
(2 of 3)
You must really have no idea how that appears to others. This happens to me all the time: I will write a reasonable, persuasive piece that is backed by evidence and facts, and then I will get “rebuked” by a zinger or one-liner that doesn’t have any substance at all. Not much of a rebuke. Well, I have an advantage because I actually read on these topics and happen to know what I’m talking about.
I would lead with Job 38:31-32. Only 2 lines and a few short words that establish a vast foreknowledge of astrophysics that is so far ahead of its time. We’ve only acquired the high-tech to learn the true meanings of verses such as that. Then you have the case of Jonah describing underwater mountain chains, and we didn’t have sonography or submarines until the past century or so.
When we say that the Bible is unique, extraordinary and without rival, we’re referring (partially) to verses like the above. That’s all we need to show that yes, of course Christianity is reasonable and consistent with evidence. The only reason why people are so strongly socially conditioned to believe the opposite (anti-scientific) is because government teaches that to children when they are young and impressionable.
There are also dinosaur accounts in the Bible OT, and this is some thunder that evolution tries to steal (bones dug up starting around 1800s; word dinosaur is coined in 1851) in order to fascinate children with secular awe of dinosaurs at a young age and then pivot/link it to accept these: evolution philosophy, BYA Old Earth, just soism, and argument from authority.
And they say that I don’t believe in science. Give me a break.
(3 of 3)
You haven’t read the unique gravitational properties of those constellations, so again, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Then regarding some generic tombs that you declare are “Christian evidence” well, that’s your favorite “evidence” not ours, and it shows plainly that you are not familiar with the rich field that is Anglo-American Christian philosophy.
You must realize that I’m not arguing with you. I’m case-making to a larger audience of reasonable “people who don’t already know everything.” I’m one of the folks who changed my mind and became born again. Online, I get comments like oh you’re a believer, you must be 70 years old. I’m actually 27, and more than half (50%) of Christians are women and children and babies.
Leftists use name-calling: fundie, thumper, zealot, wingnut, mentally ill, angry/scared. These are all false, not effective for your cause, and they aren’t kind. They’re also a double standard that is ruthlessly applied to one out-group of persons and all the politicians/media/leftist religions are given a free pass. Notice how I disagree with people and try to keep it civil. Yet truth is sharp and divisive. The Bible teaches that truth is divisive.
The reason why I wanted to tackle this topic, both in public and for this blog, is that this accusation of Christian moral superiority (and alleged/implied hypocrisy, as a corollary) is a major faith barrier to people who are non-Christians.
In this exchange, I drew from my general inventory of case-making sets and top themes. There are several topics that I put in play, throughout the above, that will need to be dealt with in further detail. The topics are these: Job astrophysics, Jonah oceanography, leftism, evolution, dinosaurs, Anglo-American history, and the harpazo (rapture) of the Church.
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