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It’s easy to characterize religion as a blood-thirsty enterprise, a perpetrator of witch hunts, crusades, and religious jihad. But has Christianity been the cause of such evil, or does the truth turn out to be just the opposite?
As ambassadors for Christ, we often never know the true impact of our efforts. Yet every once in a while we get a glimpse.... Radio is an odd medium because it is hard to know what kind of impact we’re having. For the most part, the communication is all one way. I sit in the studio and talk. Three lines are flashing, callers waiting. My screener and engineer watch through the glass as I speak. An audience of five.
The embryonic stem cell research debate is remarkable because neither side—pro-life or pro-abortion—seems to understand the moral logic of its views. Presumably, people who are pro-life hold their views for a reason and are not just emoting. The same could be said of pro-choicers. I’ve long suspected that’s not always the case, though. The recent debate about embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) confirms my doubts.
As a Christian ambassador, your biggest challenge may be making sense of the problem of evil. When you’re able to explain that, surprisingly, evil is actually evidence for God, you will have vastly improved your skill as a diplomat for the King. You’ll also have taken an important step yourself in cultivating a more sensible faith.
A faithful ambassador does not retreat in the face of opposition. Instead, he’s at least willing to listen to what the other side has to say. It’s one of the most effective ways to strengthen your understanding of the truth and cultivate sensible faith.
Eight years ago an election-year slogan circulated among Christians that sparked considerable controversy: "It's a sin to vote for Clinton." The same slogan returned with vigor four years later. This year’s election slogan is different. Bill Clinton is not on the ballot and his successor, Al Gore, offers little enticement to Evangelicals. Something else is at stake, though, captured in a new slogan: “It’s wrong to vote for anyone who is not consistently pro-life.”
How is it possible that the Good News of the Gospel can be considered a hate crime? Welcome to the 21st Century. It’s hard to believe that a simple prayer request would create a national furor. That’s what happened, though, when the Southern Baptist Convention encouraged their congregates to "pray each day for Jewish individuals you know by name that they will find the spiritual wholeness available through the Messiah [Jesus]."
If you “just take Christianity on faith” you may be in trouble… Taking Christianity “on faith” may mean trouble… I don’t like the word “faith.” It’s not that faith isn’t valuable. True biblical faith is essential for salvation. But faith is often deeply misunderstood in a way that hurts Christianity and harms Christians.
Have you ever taken a verbal beating when trying to talk about Jesus? If so, I’ve got a tip for you. It’s the simplest tactic imaginable to help stop a challenger in his tracks, turn the tables, and put you back in the driver’s seat. And it can be done almost effortlessly. Here’s an example.