Mud Wrestling

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”                                                                                                                                    —  Jesus (Matthew 7:6)

Well, it happened again. A know-it-all type declared war on Christians on social media, declaring that there’s “absolutely no proof” for the Resurrection of Jesus.

Just in case this was merely an uninformed person with an open mind, I took the bait. I politely pointed out that if by “proof” she meant scientific proof, she was right. No one-time event like the Resurrection – or any historical event, for that matter – could be “proven” scientifically. That would involve being able to watch the event being repeated in a laboratory. One determines what happened in the distant past using historical evidence, such as artifacts, fossils, and written records. In the case of a crime, one looks at legal evidence, such as the presence of a weapon, fingerprints, and through logical reasoning, such as whether or not there was a motive. But you can’t duplicate a murder to decide who’s guilty. And you can’t create another Julius Caesar to reenact history.

Soon others were chiming in on the discussion, stating that there was no evidence that Jesus even existed. (Really?) I read with interest as some of the most well educated people I know responded with reason, logic, and clarity, only to be answered with the usual canards taught in the state-run schools. To their credit, no one resorted to name-calling in this one. (Yes, I have been in another discussion where I was called an “ignorant troll” by someone I have never met.) But after searching in vain for any sign of an open mind, it wasn’t long before I was voicing my realization that “we are coming to different conclusions, so I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.” And I went on to other things.

There’s enough evidence, both historical and legal, regarding the Resurrection of Jesus to convince anyone willing to look at the facts objectively. Such intellectually honest people have included Lee Strobel, investigative reporter (The Case for Christ); J. Warner Wallace, homicide detective (Cold Case Christianity); Josh McDowell, law student (Evidence that Demands a Verdict); and C. S. Lewis, history professor at Oxford and Cambridge (Mere Christianity).

I love a good, honest debate with open-minded and educated people, but as the great theologian Mick Jagger has said, “You can’t always get what you want,” and I have no desire to argue for the sake of arguing. Those times I have been sucked into the social mud have only left me frustrated, angry, and profoundly sad for the person who has closed his mind to the existence of the God who loves him.

Jesus told us to go forth into the world and share the gospel, and this is both our duty and our privilege. Converts have come from some very unexpected places, and we owe it to them and to the Savior who loves them to try to reach them. But Jesus knew that there were, and still are, those who hate us for our faith and will stir up a fight simply for the fun of seeing us get upset. These people can all too easily be used by our enemy to drain us of our time and energy, so that we have nothing left to give to the people who are open to the Gospel. The arguers may or may not be won over to Christ at some future time, but for now we have the Lord’s permission to walk away from them, shake the dust off our feet, and devote our time and energies to those who want to hear our good news.

One last thought: Even if we were to win a battle of words over biblical truths, that is no guarantee that our opponents will be saved. People come to the Lord because the Spirit draws them, not because they lost a debate. So pray for discernment. I believe the Holy Spirit will let you know when it’s time to “agree to disagree” and calmly walk away, with your joy intact and your faith unshaken. Besides, you can still pray for those people – and they can’t stop you from doing that.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your incredible gift of eternal life. We are overwhelmed by Your grace, and we desire to spread the word to anyone and everyone. Help us not to get sidetracked trying to sow seed into hard ground. Give us discernment and lead us to those whose hearts are open, that we may share salvation where and when You desire.  In Jesus’ precious name. Amen

 

 

5 thoughts on “Mud Wrestling

  1. Great post. It is so easy to get drawn into senseless debates where people do not want to have a serious discussion. I can always tell when the Spirit is working on someone because the questions are very specific and they ask me because I am one of those “religious” people. Some people I have encountered are working far to hard to keep the walls up, trying to keep Jesus out. They seem hostile to my points, but I can sense that they are closer to accepting Christ than they realize. I like your point about the Spirit drawing people, not because they lost a debate. I have to be careful not to just want to beat someone in a debate. I think of someone I visited in prison once who surprised me by telling me, “I know it’s true. I could feel the Spirit moving!” Then he told me three incidents he had where he could sense the Spirit of God. This came from someone who had no interest in Christ before. What a privilege to share in God’s work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great wisdom spoken here. Discernment is definitely required when trying to decipher when to walk away. One thing that helps me is knowing that we are called to “witness,” not to “win.” Only God can “win” souls to Christ. It is our job to witness, to tell of what we know, just as we would do in a courtroom, and leave it to the jurors to believe us or not. Great post, and one I know I will come back to.

    Like

  3. I have learned that there is a distinct difference between someone who is sincerely asking a question to obtain a possible answer and a person who is asking a question to deliberately bait you into an intellectual wrestling match so that they can demonstrate their mental superiority. I have all the time in the world for the initial question and no time at all for the latter. The minute that a insulting innuendo is launched, and it invariably does with the latter, I politely exit. Why some waste their time slinging mud back and forth, defies logic and too often leaves a bad example of how a Christian should respond to opposition when name calling ends up going both ways. Casting your pearls before swine is a lesson we all have to learn. And you’re absolutely right, nothing hinders us from saying a prayer for them, that they might experience the same grace that we have. Grace and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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