There is a debate raging through this nation about a wide range of topics. Many of those topics, like abortion and homosexuality, center on moral issues. This post is not about directly dealing with each individual topic, but the nature of the debate itself. When those of us who profess Christ entertain discussions in this debate, we must stand firm and reason properly without giving any ground or compromising in any way. The most important thing we can do in this regard besides being educated is not allowing the opposition to redefine the terms and frame the arguments. Below, I will list a few examples of how I've seen those opposed to my position attempt to frame the arguments in such a way that if I granted them that ability, they have already won the debate.
I. Attempting to Use the Scriptures Against MeEdit
Many many times, almost every time I would venture, that I enter into a discussion on moral issues and people realize that I am arguing from the Christian framework, people will throw scripture at me in a host of straw men arguments. If I decry abortion or homosexuality, they will throw up stoning, dietary laws, and other Bible passages of something they consider barbaric, such as females submitting to male authority (1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:12). Their objective is to convince me through use of my own standard that my standard is fallacious. This is inherently illogical. Furthermore, invariably they will cherry pick verses out of context as a pretext on which to build their accusations. An example might be the famous Matt. 7:1 which says "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Alone that verse can mean a number of things. In context, however, it means don't judge hypocritically. Verse 6 of that same passage says not to cast pearls before swine. How can we know who not to cast our pearls before if we can judge no man as swine? This is the foolishness of those who don't really know the Bible when they try to use it against those who do. Where our problem comes in is when we don't know the Bible as well as our enemy and their evil wresting of the scriptures tosses us to and fro like a strong wind.
"Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might" Paul wrote (Eph. 6:10). The power of God is the gospel (Rom. 1:16). Our armor is the Word of God (again, Eph. 6). Where we must not fail in this point is two-fold. First, we must study (2 Tim. 2:15) for all scripture is profitable to make us thoroughly furnished to every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17) including defense of the gospel (Phil. 1:17) and always being ready to give answer for the reason of the hope within us (1 Pet. 3:15). Second, we must not allow the opposition to use scripture incorrectly, scripture they don't even believe in, to frame the argument. If they want to use scripture against us, it is nothing more than Satan's old tricks again (Matt. 4) and we must respond as Christ did, with the correct use of scripture in context.
As a special note, I'd like to address the use of OT passages against Christians. The Old Testament, the Mosaical system, only ever applied to Israelites/Jews and their proselytes. It never applied to Gentiles, which most of us would be considered today. Second, Christ died on the cross fulfilling the Old Testament and took it out of the way (Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:15). The superiority and efficacy of the New Testament is written about in nearly every letter of the New Testament. It is the central theme of Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, and Revelation. All men are amenable to the Law of Christ now. Until our opponents acknowledge this point, all other opponents' arguments from scripture should not even be entertained or responded to.
Remember, up against a Christian who is knowledgeable in the scripture, the anti-Christian attempting to use scripture against them is in way over their heads. They are as a child who cannot lift the sword coming against an adult who has mastered it.
II. Attempting to Force Us to Fight Without the BibleEdit
Another of the most common tactics I've seen in this debate is the opposition saying something akin to: "well, the Bible is your faith, not mine, can you give me reason that X, Y, Z is wrong without using the Bible." Folks, this is a very dangerous point to allow them. If they take away the Bible from the discussion, there is no objective standard on which to stand. Morality is subjective, there is no right and wrong, and they have won already.
If the Bible is true and God is real then Christians are right and our rights come from our Creator, Jehovah God, not the government as our founders stated. The Creator of the Universe has given laws, laws upon which this nation was founded. Just because they don't believe the Bible does not make it false, or an unworthy foundation from which to argue. We are endowed with inalienable rights by that Creator, a point our founders enshrined in our founding documents. They all pointed to the God of the Bible and the Bible is an integral part of this nation. Religious freedom was established with regard to the freedom to worship Jehovah God the way each individual thought best. It was not to free the nation from religion altogether. The absurd idea of separation of church and state as it is used today was never in the minds of those who founded this nation. The phrase, which comes from a letter from Thomas Jefferson and is not in any founding document, has a wholly different meaning in the context of his letter. Once again, we are back to the tactic of point I above.
We must not let them disarm us, take away our sword, shield, and armor and let them throw sticks and stones at us. The nation was founded on the Bible. Its Constitution is wholly tied to the morality of it. Without that morality, as the founding fathers constantly wrote, this nation cannot stand and will devolve into tyranny. This is exactly what the opposition desires because they believe the tyranny will be in their favor.
When they urge you to argue without the Bible, ask them why you should do that when the Bible is Truth? Then they must attack the Bible which you should be well set for the defence of.
III. Attempting to Relegate Christianity to One of Many Viable ReligionsEdit
This is actually the premise on which point II is a corallary. Again, those in opposition to the Christian faith will argue that they are not Christians and we cannot impose our beliefs on them. Islam, Mormonsim, Hindusim, and yes, even Atheism and Humanism are equally valid belief systems and we should all just get along.
There are three major problems with this reasoning.
- 1. The first has already been discussed in point II. This nation was founded on Biblical laws, not Sharia or the Quran, not Hindu, not any other religious text. To relegate Christianity to one of many automatically concedes the very identity of this nation and the nature of its foundation.
- 2. The second is that Biblical Christianity (not man-made pseudo-Christianity) is mutually exclusive with all other religions. It is a distinct moral standard and to relegate it to one of many is again to concede the very point we are trying to defend...that X, Y, Z is wrong. If we concede that Christianity is one of many, then we concede that its moral standard is one of many. If we accept more than one standard we must logically accept all standards and therefore we are left with no standard whatsoever. Men are then free to do whatever their heart desires which only leads to his own distruction and the destruction of his nation.
- 3. Finally, and most importantly, Biblical Christianity is correct. It is the correct worldview, the correct Answer to the Question. All other paradigms are false, all other religions are false, the mere doctrines of men. If we grant that Christianity is one of many, we confess that we are not correct, that there is no objective truth, that is it also a product of man rather than Divine.
If, Christianity is correct, then:
- 1. Jehovah is real.
- 2. The Bible is His Word.
- 3. All men are amenable to the New Testament.
- 4. There is objective right and wrong.
- 5. Those things that the Bible declares to be wrong/evil/sinful and destructive to man/nations are objectively wrong/evil/sinful and destructive to men and nations and must be avoided to preserve the individual and the nation.
The faith system that is the Bible is correct, folks, and we must not concede victory to those who oppose it before the fight ever begins. Their whole goal is to bring down the Christian faith system for it is the light that exposes the darkness within their souls, within the heart of this nation.
Do not let those who seek to do evil frame the argument, set the rules, and define the terms to be used.
Terms like marriage have a concrete meaning. If we allow it to be redefined to mean other things as well, then it loses all meaning and marriage becomes nothing. That is their goal.
Do not let them knock out from under you the pillars of Real, Objective Truth given to mankind by His Creator, Jehovah God.
Do not lay down your sword simply because they brought a twig to the fight.
In Truth and Love.