When I first discovered Apologetics I was on fire. An unstoppable, roaring inferno of passion. I ate, slept and breathed the glorious flames of Truth! I fearlessly engaged and set others afire with unabashed, unbridled, energetic discussions of logic, physics, history and absolute morality.
I like thinking, I like talking and I like people. Combine that with the fact that I meet scores of new people in their homes and businesses every week while repairing broken refrigerators, the opportunities for evangelizing and spreading the Gospel of Reason are enormous!
And for a while I was an unstoppable force, blazing brighter with each new person changed for the better and brought a step closer to God by our encounters.
Then something changed.
I began to second guess myself. To doubt myself. Not the message, of course. The message is solid. But myself as a messenger of the Gospel of Reason.
Who am I to be discussing physics, logic, history and theology? I’m not an authority on anything! Ok, my own life, yes, but that is a far cry from possessing authoritative credentials in these areas of expertise!
What happened? Where did this come from? Who put doubt in my heart and my mind?
Not all Christians mind you, but I do receive more resistance to Apologetics from Christians than I do those on the other side of salvation. Especially Christian leadership.
What are my credentials, they ask. What qualifies me?
Doesn’t truth qualify itself?
And we wonder why 75% of Christian youth are leaving the church once they leave home! We wonder why Christianity is shrinking in America!
We wonder why our children often develop a distrust, disdain and disregard for authority from early childhood. The misuse and abuse of authority so rampant in our world is not missed by their observant eyes and minds.
I realize that some misuse of power and authority is inadvertent, the failure of normal, everyday people doing their best in life’s various roles.
But then there is outright predation. If you aren’t thinking, someone else will do it for you.
And they have an agenda which involves hijacking your brain.
Heck, you aren’t using it, why shouldn’t they?
This is why authoritative credentials meant less than nothing to me in my previous life. They can be dangerous. Credentials are often the badge and license to impose a “superior” thinking and will upon others. Strutting their hour upon the stage with puffed-up self-importance over credentials for a subject they may actually know little about!
And they want to tell us what to think?!
My irreverent attitude was softened for a time toward Christians by my conversion, as were so many of my previous attitudes and conclusions. As a new Christian finding my bearings and my place in this New World, I automatically gave all Christians the benefit of the doubt.
But that’s changing. I’ve seen enough. Calling yourself a Christian doesn’t make you a Christian! It doesn’t give you Christian values or Christ-like intent. Sorry, but I have to harden my heart to the wolves in sheep’s clothing who would rip apart my passion for the truth.
Even if it’s inadvertent and they somehow mean well.
I don’t and can’t care if they have an advanced theological degree, a high place in the local church or a ten generation Christian pedigree.
I know what God has done to my heart and mind through Apologetics and I see first-hand the importance of giving a reason for the hope that we have.
It’s logical, rational and reasonable. In addition it is Biblical –you can start with 1 Peter 3:15, Matthew 22:37 and 2 Corinthians 10.
God is my authority; not men.
I will let no one take that hope and the reasons for that hope away from me.
The elephant in the Apologetics room is not an elephant. It’s Medusa.
I don’t care who you say you are or what you say you stand for, if you have the eyes of Medusa I will not let you turn me to stone.