In this world, we Christians are certain to come across arguments from skeptics. Many of you reading this have had such experiences. What about accusations? How many of us have dealt with slanderous or accusatory remarks about God, Jesus, and Christians at large? I’m sure most of us have, and if not, we likely will at some point during our lifetime. What is the best way for us to stand up for the faith and fellow Christians?
Instead of approaching this article the way I originally intended, which was to state some common arguments against the faith and how we can dispute them, I want to encourage readers to take a different approach.
We can discuss some of the common arguments and accusations we might encounter, but even if we spend a lot of time learning about the many ways unbelievers might oppose us, there will always be instances when we are caught off guard unless we are armed with Spirit of God within us ready to give an answer.
From my limited experience, the best way to deal with the unbelieving world and their accusations against Christianity is for each individual Christian to continue seeking growth in the things of God. This means growing in faith, righteousness, and learning to trust in the Lord and cultivating a productive fear of God over fear of man.
Armor Up, Christians!
When dealing with this world, the only way we are going to be truly successful is when we stop using the tactics of this world and start using the power given to us by the Spirit. What do I mean by this?
Let’s consider The Armour of God (Ephesians 6). How might we suit up and overcome accusations from the unbelieving world?
Loins Girt About with Truth
With our “loins girt about with truth,” we have an arsenal of logic and understanding from God himself. As we learn more about who God is, who Jesus is, the purpose of creation, the relationship between God and mankind, the intricacies of the bible that prove it to us, and other truths often hidden from “the wisdom of this world,” we not only have more confidence in our beliefs and grow in the faith, we also have reasonable arguments against common disputes.
You might also consider the imagery here. What function do the loins have? If we are firm the truth of the one who is The Truth, we are protected from spiritual adultery and fornication because we will not adopt other ideologies as acceptable for salvation and we will not be overcome by false gods and imitators of Christ.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
Being examples of Jesus in this world is the single most important way Christians can combat unbelievers. If we were living according to the righteousness of the kingdom of God instead of our own self-righteousness and hypocrisy, we would not see a lot of the accusations we face in the first place.
Christians need to get back to believing in the power of the name of Jesus. This is power of forgiveness and redemption that comes when we have righteousness imputed by faith, yes. However, this is also power to have the inner-man changed as the laws of God are written “on the fleshly tables of the heart.”
If we have the breastplate of righteousness, our hearts are shielded from the evils of this world so that we can stand as incorruptible heirs of the promise—no matter how difficult and dark this world gets.
Feed Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
If we were “the salt” and “the light” we were supposed to be, we would “overcome evil with good” instead of resorting to hatefulness when arguments get heated. We would be patient and merciful. We would stand firm against sin instead of embracing it and calling evil good—however we would also show those in bonds to sin that there is a way out as we become living proof of the gospel.
Our feet should be “swift to do good” instead of evil—made ready to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of God—a kingdom in which righteousness dwells and peace overflows. The only way this world is going to obtain the dream of “world peace” is when we all bow before Jesus who is the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace.
Take the Shield of Faith
We are told that with the shield of faith, we can resist the “fiery darts of the wicked.” When someone comes at us with harsh words or arguments against the faith, these things will bounce off of us. When we have a strong faith, we not only have something to show for the “hope in us,” others are often moved by our conviction—especially when we remain peaceful and live righteously.
As mentioned earlier, we cannot prepare ourselves intellectually for every argument that will come our way. We are told that if we are delivered up because of the faith, we are not to think beforehand what we will speak. The Holy Spirit will give us what we need and it is he who will speak through us. Have faith in this!
Take the Helmet of Salvation
When we place our faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have many amazing promises, the cornerstone of which is resurrection. If our lives are required of us as a result of standing up for the faith, we know that ultimately there is absolutely nothing this world can do to us.
Even so, consider this. How well suited are you for battle if you have a helmet only? What about truth, righteousness, faith, and the gospel of peace? The helmet of salvation is fundamental, yes. However, we need ALL that salvation provides. To reject the full armor of God would not be wise.
The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God
There’s a lot that could be said here. What is the Word of God? Jesus is the word of God, right? Of course we have the bible. That too is the world of God. However, we need the Spirit of Jesus, who is The Word if we are to truly understand the bible and learn how to apply what we learn appropriately.
The Sword of the Spirit is called a two-edged sword for a reason. This is the sword of God and the only way to use His sword without being cut to bits ourselves is by the power of the Spirit. If we use the word of God negligently or to harm others, we are those who “lead into captivity” and “kill with the sword.” I recommend reading:
We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood
When we read about the armor of God, we are first told “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
It’s important to remember that unbelievers, on a personal and individual level, are not the enemy. We are to love everyone and treat others the way we would want to be treated. It’s the harmful ideas and the one who is called The Accuser we are fighting against. Remember when Jesus said, “forgive them. They know not what they do.” All good in us comes from God, especially faith. Not all men have faith, and it is only by the grace of God that we do. I recommend reading:
I’m sure there is a lot more that could be said about the armor of God, but I hope this at least provides those who read with some measure of encouragement.
The Best Way to Combat Unbelievers is by Being the Salt and the Light
What will happen when the light has gone out? What will happen when “the salt has lost its savor?” We will surely be “trodden down under foot.” This is no small thing, and it will happen as the scriptures have said. When, we do not know.
However, if on an individual level, we seek first the kingdom of God and learn to walk therein by the power of Jesus working is us, saving us from this present wicked world by grace through faith, then we will not be as those whose “candlestick is removed out of it’s place,” and we will not be among those “outside of the temple” and “tread underfoot.”
Seeking First the Kingdom of God is the best and only way to prepare ourselves for any battle rather than trying to prepare ourselves intellectually or according to the devices of this world.
If you feel unsure of how to deal with this world, take comfort in knowing that all things is us are the work of the Lord and he will give you everything you need. Though we might at times be weak, afraid, and uncertain, He who is in us is mightier than anything we might face!