Category Archives: Evangelism

Getting added to “do not call” lists . . .

I think I’m on the “do not call” list for a few cults/religions (mainly the types that come to your door). It isn’t because I’m not friendly to them. On the contrary, I figure if someone with a false religion comes to my door and wants to talk about God, then how much easier does evangelism get? I invite them in or make an appointment to visit with them at a more convenient time. I just sit back and listen and ask questions to clarify my understanding. Then I have the opportunity to point out what I see as flaws in their reasoning and to share the real Gospel. No one has dropped to their knees and converted, but I do think they were given something to think about. I pray that seeds are planted and that the Holy Spirit will guide them to the Truth.

Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but it seems that we are skipped over when the groups make future treks through the neighborhood.

If you travel, always take your Bible. I was going through LAX after a Far East trip once and must have looked exhausted. A Hare Krishna made a bee line for me with some books to read. I pulled out my Bible and told her she should read my book first. She laughed and said, “But your book is much bigger.” I figured she would convert or leave. She left.

The Christian Research Institute has some good, brief outlines of major religions and cults that can be useful when talking to people of other faiths. It helps you understand where they are coming from and where they will try to mislead you. Their presentations often have the veneer of orthodox Christianity, but when you peel back the layers they are talking about a different God, a different Jesus and a different Bible.

I’ll be doing a lesson on sharing the Gospel with people of different faiths for an upcoming CareNet Pregnancy Center volunteer in-service and also for my church’s youth group. I may do a series on this blog as well.

I don’t know, but I’ll find out.

This is a rerun from 2006.  Long time readers: Try to look surprised.

question-mark.gifSeven really important words for evangelism and apologetics are, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”

1 Peter 3:15-16 gives the following command to Christians:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

So we must be ready to graciously explain why we believe in Christ. But there will always be questions we don’t have the answers to. Sometimes when we get stumped we resort to poorly made arguments such as “Because the Bible says so!”

But when we don’t have well reasoned answers to share we should not make them up. This is a corollary to the advice about the first thing to do when you have dug yourself into a hole (“Stop digging.”)

Consider the following benefits of being willing to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”

  • It is a humble response. You burst the stereotype that Christians are smug know-it-alls who aren’t willing to listen.
  • It takes all the pressure off of you.
  • It keeps you from giving bad answers. Remember that one bad argument can undermine ten good arguments. Skeptics will seize on it and use it to justify their position.
  • It gives you time to prepare better answers.
  • It lets you make an appointment to come back later to talk about God. This is invaluable, as you can approach the person later and say, “Remember when you had that question about . . .”
  • By taking the objection off the table temporarily, you can shift back to the Gospel, as in “While I can’t answer that right now, here is what I do know . . .”

Of course, you may use different words to convey this. You might say, “That’s a good question. Let me think about it and get back with you. Thanks for giving me something to think about,” or something similar. The main thing is to humbly convey that you listened to what the other person said, that you don’t have a ready answer and that you care enough to do some research and get back to them.

Keep in mind that just because you don’t have an answer right then doesn’t mean that Christianity isn’t true. If the essentials of Christianity are true (e.g., Jesus is God, He is the only way to salvation, the Bible is authoritative and accurate, etc.), then they are true regardless of whether someone can explain them or not or whether someone wants them to be true. All you need to know is where to go find the answers to the tough questions. You can maintain your confidence in what you do know to be true. In fact, when we respond graciously to critics we come across more confident than if we get overly excited and emotional.

Hat tip for parts of this: Stand to Reason