Plant metaphors pervade my thoughts lately so I hope you bear with me. As I looked through the glass door over to my plants yesterday, I can’t help but notice how dangerously low one bent due to the strong winds. It looked almost as if it would break. I was happy to see this morning my bendy plant is safe and sound. However, it is not free from the dangers of pests (slimy slugs and earwigs) that seek to chew, nibble and destroy which was what happened to most of my first batch. It’s interesting how it selects to do damage only on the precious sunflower plants and leaves the weeds alone. It appears the pest knows best not to mess with something with a common ground.
The Bible is replete with deep things and I don’t have the audacity to assert I understand them all. Whenever Jesus told a parable, He explained it to His disciples and He also gave the promise of the Holy Spirit as a genuine believer reads the Scripture to aid in understanding. I think it’s great that people are confident and feel they do not need to justify their faith apart from Christ. However, there are a lot of people who try to bring our faith to nothing. I read a sad case (entitled “A Preacher Boy“) over at Richard Dawkins’ website about a man who grew up in Christianity, entered a Christian college and ended up deconverted because he read Dawkins’ book.
Some people (from what I read here on WP) consider quoting Scripture and pursuing knowledge of the things of God a means to “elevate oneself to know things they weren’t intended to know,” (which if true, why would God leave us the Bible?) when Jesus Himself quoted what was written. If we are to follow His example because He showed us the power of the written word to defeat the adversary, would that equate as elevating ourselves and being prideful? The Bible reveals to us how God works so that we would not mischaracterize Him like those who do not have a personal relationship with Him do and actually make a career out of.
It is our ignorance about the things of God and what pleases Him that leads us to adopt destructive behaviors and follow blind guides (1 Peter 1:14). We are also expected to contend for the faith (Jude 1:3) in a diplomatic way. Not that we intentionally look for it but should the situation arises. If people don’t want to believe the good news extended to them by way of a discussion (not intent to win a debate except informing them what they may be oblivious to) – the knowledge and revelation of God which “endures forever,” (Isaiah 40:8) that He ensured would stand even prohibitions and countless burnings, at least people won’t have the excuse that truth was not presented to them.
This is a promise from Jesus Christ to those who believe in Him.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.“
We don’t have to know all things but we do need to know the substance of our faith. After all, if one claims to be tight and truly trust in God, that would be holding to the promise of being given “knowledge which none of your adversaries can resist nor contradict” (Luke 21:14-15) fully trusting in the empowerment of His Holy Spirit who is available to any true believer who asks. This could be coming up with a logical statement you have not previously thought of, something like what Jesus said to the Pharisees in response to their imperial tax question (Matthew 22:15-22) with the ulterior motive to trap Him.
Ephesians 4:13-14 advises us to know Scripture and the things of God, not only to know and pray according to God’s will and do what pleases Him, but also to avoid being overtaken by the philosophies of this world, just like what happened to the man I read up on who decided to leave Christianity.
Lastly, engaging in Apologetics is not a matter of elevating oneself but rather, doing God’s will. You don’t have to slap yourself with the title of an apologist, but if you claim to be Christian, you are expected to give an answer for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15) and that simply is Apologetics, the defense of your faith with no elevating of self involved.