Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason gave good advice to a caller regarding how to respond when people ask “gotcha” questions such as, “How do you feel about ‘same-sex marriage?'” The question and answer were in context of beauty pageant contestants, but the situation can come up with any of us. We’ll be getting those questions more and more and we need to be prepared to answer in a wise and winsome way.
If you get questions like that just say, “I agree with Jesus on that subject.” That takes you off the hot seat and puts the burden on the questioner. Few people — even non-believers — want to be seen as being on the record as opposing Jesus.
They might ask follow-up questions, which is good, because now you are talking about Jesus and what He said!
Yes, false teachers like the “Christian” Left could use the first part of that tip as a rhetorical trick (after all, among other falsehoods, those ghouls will insist that Jesus supports abortions up to the child’s first breath*). But we’re not worried about them right now. This is about you navigating through tough questions and giving truthful but wise replies and using opportunities to share the truth if people are open to it.
Here’s a good verse to have handy: Matthew 19:4–5 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”
Note how Jesus defeats Darwinian evolution, oxymoronic “same-sex marriage,” same-sex parenting and transgenderism arguments in that one simple passage. No true follower of him should disagree on any of those topics.**
So if they want to know more, you are ready. You have an easy segue to explaining why you care what Jesus said about the topic (i.e., He is divine, He is your Savior, etc.). But at a minimum you’ve put the burden on them instead of saying something foolish, or worse yet, denying Jesus.
This is a completely legitimate way to being as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.
*From the “Christian” Left: “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.”
**Jesus is still asking them that question today, and the answer from the “Christian” Left is, “No, we haven’t read that” — or, rather, “We read that but didn’t like it so we ‘know’ you didn’t really say that.”
12 thoughts on “Respond to “gotcha” questions by saying, “I agree with Jesus on that””
This is good advice. Thanks. I can foresee a time when people will no longer want to hear what Jesus says about anything but that is not our problem. It is theirs.
So Koukl’s advice is apparently to deflect the question and deliver a politically calculated vague response in place of a clear answer.
Not at all. Believe me, he – and I – are glad to speak the truth. Plainly and clearly.bl But you need to be smarter than those trying to trick you. And there is nothing political about bringing up Jesus! Most people don’t dare do that.
I don’t think there is any trick in asking someone what their view on a particular issue really is. Saying “I agree with Jesus” could mean anything from “I oppose same-sex marriage” to “I don’t think Jesus has any problem with two adults of the same-sex marrying.”
Jesus, himself, often deflected questions towards the proper viewpoint especially when confronted with loaded questions. To deflect away so as to be vague or unclear is not what it is suggested. Steering the conversation towards what God’s word has to say on the subject is wise because. after all, it is not what we think about these things that is most important. It is what God thinks that is important.
Of course you don’t see the trick in that question. But whether or not you see the trick doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
After all, what does it matter? The SCOTUS has ruled that marriage is anything we as a society define it as. Whether it be man-man, man-woman, man-object, woman-animal, etc. LOVE WINS! (in case the readers of this can’t detect it, this is sarcasm.)
What I think is irrelevant. And further, I agree with Jesus. So saying that is the proper answer. If the asker doesn’t know what Jesus thinks about it then they can ask that next. Just like Neil said, win-win!
(P.S. Matthew 19 also has a lot to say on marriage-divorce-remarriage, but that is probably best left for another day!)
It might just be me, but I’m getting to believe that the best response is one of complete mockery and derision. Those asking the “gotcha” questions are typically in favor of something incredibly inane, selfish, and generally mentally and morally twisted. Why not just focus on just how mentally and morally twisted it is by laughing out loud at the very thought that anyone with more than half a brain would support whatever is highlighted by the “gotcha” question. A major reason why the world has gotten this crazy is that crazy has gotten too much respectful attention, rather than much more pointing and laughing. It’s the proper response to foolishness, is it not?
Good point. Part of our problem has been that we’ve been too nice to wicked people with ridiculous ideas.
Sent from my iPhone
Remember what Jesus did! He bent down and began drawing in the dirt. Sometimes ignoring people’s “gotcha” questions is the best route to take.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Proverbs 9:6-8 has some good advice about how to deal with the scorner (or mocker). A wise man will heed instruction but a fool will only deride. Silence is often the best response to a mocker but if they are willing to participate in a dialogue then we should welcome it and respond lovingly but truthfully.
I believe, Bret, that passage is referring not to a mocker of sinfulness, but a mocker of wise instruction. I mention this for the possibility that you oppose in any way my decision to deride the corrupt. I intend to argue against them in a manner that highlights the complete foolishness of their position. Fools provoke laughter by their foolish behavior. I wish to generate the type of opposition that will result in their embarrassment. A true acceptance of truth and reality compels this response by itself. I want that they will reject their sinful compulsions due to the embarrassment the foolishness of their arguments rightly brings upon them.
That’s a good strategy