Prepared 4 War
Key download for the time restricted: 101 possible answers to common questions [99k]
Originally written to do in 5 x 30 minute bible studies. Reality is u'd probably need another 5 studies, as we only covered about 6 of 25 questions... Thanks 2 Beth, Clifford, Holly, Nat, Nick and Russ for their being such fine guinea pigs - in particular sorting the questions, & providing more fine responses.
Some downloads below may suffer from a lack of clarity, as I wrote in note form to make sense only to myself. If enough people harass me I will conclude it is worth clarifying...
It is particulary written for younger Christians and the 'not yet sure/considering Christianity' clan — who are having the heavy duty questions of all time (and our time) missiled at them by others, or from within their own mind!
The overall aim is:
- that you gain confidence/joy in God/the Bible as u see that he who is the Truth has put into your hand some heavy duty perspectives that can bring down satanic strongholds [2Co10:4],
- and as result you pray for such issues to be raised in order to properly deal with/think about them, seeing it as an opportunity to use 'the sword of the truth' to set the next man/woman free from the lies that satan has used to ensnare them [John8 et al].
If you wish to run these as a bible study, I will upload some further notes on request (atm not coherently typed up).
- Illegitimate tactics printout (this is just Van Druff's stuff reformatted, and with a few others from his site, and one from elsewhere thrown in...
- respond to the person's need not necessarily just their words
- question the questioner
- smoke out the joked out / turn the tables
- tell a story to let em work it out, if they want to...
- use their momentum to floor their point/win them over
- affirm truths they arrive at / inherent to their questions
- sometimes provide a perspective not an answer, otherwise u may risk people's questions framing what u look like are gays going to hell? are muslims going to hell? is sex outside of marriage wrong? = kill kill kill, rule rule rule, you misery guts etc
- a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs it up
- be *real* with the person, love them, and deal with them as best helps them (as best u can c)...
- the truths have got to be ones that have become real to you, or it will seem cold repeated cabbage... i.e. not very edible
- be straight about your sins, be open, be vulnerable...
- focus the discussion: if you haven't fully dealt with one point properly and another is raised, say so, cos if they really want an answer to first question/main issue others may need to be parked for a bit…
Some key stuff on motives, manners, hearts, and legitimate (and illegitimate) tactics. If you let love and respect dominate you won't go far wrong. A few other asides to consider...
In true truth there is almost always some lovely universally appealing aspect, satan has had to distort it to make it unlovely. Our aim is often just to remove the distortion, to correcctly present it, and you will find it is often highly attractive. A good way to do that is find examples/illustrations that people are familiar with that clearly show it as right and good and fair.
Here is the top ten according to my group!
- How could a loving God allow so much suffering? (e.g. Haiti, Holocaust)
- Cool if u want to believe that, but don't try & convert me.
- Times have changed since the bible was written.
- U live such a boring life / can't do anything fun. God is a kill joy.
- Religion is the cause of all wars.
- U can't tell me **** cos u do X, Y & Z. (A load of hypocrites)
- How could a loving God invent hell?
- Your faith is improbable/ridiculous
- They're so judgemental and harsh man... so i don't want to hear them.
- It would be nice if it were true / I'd like to have your faith.
These are pretty key. They are what convince Christians the truths they have are worth holding on to. Even if you aren't yet one, many of these reasons will still apply as valid bases for considering Christ and his teachings in the bible as being worth looking the fool for holding on to.
101 Reasons - this probably makes the least sense as I have anotated so little of it, but hopefully it still makes some sense!
Why do we start here? Cos you need strong reasons to stay a Christian, you know - when you get cancer, or your mother gets murdered, or... unfair stuff happens. It could happen right around you. The experience of being God forsaken. Then you'll go over in your head, "Just why is it I'm going to church, why is it I'm going to sing?" It is wise to consider and investigate carefully in order to lay a rock solid foundation of Truth before the hurricane comes, for come it surely will. It is the belt of truth that holds the soliders armour together.
Contained in the document below are probably examples of extreme sarcasm, and me being very cheeky/brutal/blunt etc etc... - these are done so that the point was clear, not as models of communication. I will not be responsible for any bloodied noses if u memorise & repeat like a rabbit!
Besides, half the fun and point is you actually engaging your brain on the topic, so they are really just to start you thinking - you'll come up with your own tack suited to you and your friend/antagonist! My group did so and came up with some great answers (which I've included), I guarantee there are better responses out there waiting to be dreamed up, again please send them in if u come up with any jewels!
Quite a few listed here. They are just ideas, starting points, how u raise them may be entirely different, some of them are repetitious (forgive me), and phrase stuff just slightly differently - all show that there are many ways to skin a cat - i.e. provide a reasonable response and a possible way forward into a more detailed discussion. They are not the be all and end all. They are just a beginning, as some of the attacking questions seek to show in one sentence that u should park ur Christianity where the sun don't shine, they are simple responses to say, "I don't think so bud...", so u don't have to remain submissively mute or launch into a full scale, "Here is wot the bible teaches...". If people see u have a reasoned response, they may enquire further. On the other hand they may not. That's their call, but if u have a solid easily intelligible response on such an important matter as this (eternity heaven and hell related stuff), it is unkind to keep silent.
101 defences & counter attacks (unordered).
One route i am increasingly convinced is legitimate is to (occasionally) properly devastate/ridicule 'atheistic evolution'. It is a false belief system with very ugly fruit, and like idol worship in the OT, or notions of a God who needs a man to make him a house to live in, ought to be taken down. The caste system in Hinduism is totally horrific unless the basis for it is genuine. If you were not convinced u would be right to oppose it and tear it up. The oppression of thought/critical thinking by Islam in countries where Shariah is the modus operandi is similar. Likewise with evolution - it is the fundamental basis of the dominant false belief system in the West, and if its not true it must be taken down, and people ought to learn to question it, and where it leads...
If people lampoon/critique Christianity, they are opening the ball park for u to go on a return match.
Atheistic evolution study. This fails to cover the incredibly powerful argument from design, however, if you read thru the 101 defences etc, you'll find this there somewhere!
Increasingly Islam is an issue that it's worth being a little more aware of in order to similarly devastate it. However, to produce these summary attack structures u need to properly understand them (and I don't yet!!). Thus the more aggressive route with Islam & Hinduism are tba. Aggressive paths truthwise must nonetheless be pursued with a gentle tongue.
If seeing how clearly and beautifully God has demarcated the one and only exit from satan's maze, does not move your heart there is something very wrong. Not only is his escape strategy in Christ set apart from all others, in the process I hope you've seen he has some amazing answers to perennial human problems/questions. He is wonderful. Your heart should be racing a little faster, your praise heading up a little more...
These are not primarly designed to make u look smart, but: 4 ur neighbour to find the escape route, and 4 u to be sure to hold on to it...
Life and death is in the power of the tongue, so go get involved, stand up 4 the Truth/Christ when he's brought into question/the arena!