Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes
Hillcrest Community Church
5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319
Recently there was a call-in radio show that had, as their guest, an atheist, who was sharing his views. While frantically trying to get a call through to the station, there were a dozen or more Christian callers talking to this man. It was appalling at the ease with which he was chewing them up and spitting them out! It seemed that every Christian who called was incapable of giving an intelligent reason for the faith that he or she held. “The Bible says such and such,” each would begin in trying to support what she or he was saying. The atheist would counter: “Well, why do you believe the Bible?” Every one of them was reduced to stammering out something like, “Well, I’ve got it down in my heart.” The atheist would answer, “Well, it’s not down in my heart, friend, and I don’t believe it.”
This is what prompted D. James Kennedy to write a book entitled, “Why I Believe.”
It’s especially important in these days for Christians to be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them. 1 Peter 3:13-17 (MSG) says: “If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are (defend what you believe), and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad” (emphasis mine).
Challenges from unbelievers and seekers confront us always. Television, books, magazines, and movies subject our faith to questioning in thousands of ways! As Christians we must be ready to speak to those who question our basic beliefs. We sin against God when we remain silent because we’re incapable of defending what we believe.
Not only that—when we don’t stand ready with a reason for our hope and don’t know why we believe what we believe, we give others the impression that Christianity is a religion based merely on blind faith or emotional prejudice. Nothing could be further from the truth!
We often accuse those who reject Christianity without at least examining the evidence of being prejudiced. Then is it not also true that if a person accepts it without examining the evidence, then that too is nothing other than prejudice or gullibility?
The Bible tells us to examine all things and to hold fast to that which is good. Yet too often we’re not willing to do that just because it takes a little effort on our part to become workmen who need not be ashamed. When we don’t examine the grounds and foundation for our faith, we find that Satan will use our ignorance to attack our belief, and when we experience difficulties, he will sow doubts in our minds.
We must be better at knowing what we believe and why we believe it so we will be ready always to give a reason for the hope that we have in us. Read and know the Bible, which is foundational for Christian belief!