In the last couple of months, we have seen many controversial arguments playing out in the media area – abortion, LGBTI rights, gay marriage, and the similar. Christians, especially, find they are singled out for their ‘archaic’ beliefs. But is there a positive side to this?
What controversy causes
Controversy always causes conversation. People start to share their opinions, challenge their friends and family with their beliefs and find out where other people stand.
The unexpected side of this is that the number of people checking Bible references or reading sections of the Bible to understand the other side of the equation increases. People want to know if ‘the Bible forbids gay marriage’ is actually true. They want to see the proof themselves.
Christians also use the opportunity to share the gospel message. I have had several times where I have gone back to the Bible to find a reference or compare parables to understand the variety of opinions.
Avoiding Bible bashing
One important aspect we, as Christians, need to be aware of is ‘Bible-bashing’. The Cambridge Dictionary defines a Bible-basher as “someone who tries in a forceful or enthusiastic way to persuade other people to believe in the Christian religion and the Bible.”
Sharing the gospel is not a bad thing. But we don’t want to push away sceptics because we are overzealous. We want to share our argument in a loving and understanding way.
For example, I know of a family who have very strong beliefs about gay marriage. When some friends asked for their opinion on the matter, they very enthusiastically gave their view and Bible verses to support it. When the friends tried to debate with them, the family repeated the Bible verses. The end result was they lost their friends.
Should we share our opinions?
So, if we risk alienating people because of our Bible-based views, should we share our opinion at all, or should we leave it to the ordained?
I believe we should share it, gently. Jesus commissioned everyone, everywhere to share the gospel. But we should do it in the way He did—with love, caring and truth.
Be considerate about your friend’s views as well. We might not be able to bring them to our way of thinking this time, but if they feel heard and loved, they will come and discuss the next thing, which may give an opening for us to share Jesus.
Please realise, I am not saying our views are not correct. We know what the Bible says, and we should, even in the face of opposition, follow the Word. But be prepared to share the Word, with all its controversies, when the opportunity arises. Allow God’s spirit to guide you in your sharing.
And above all, stand strong in the truth.
Emma Bamford is a Melbourne writer and edits the International young writers for Press Service International. She has a passion for igniting faithful living in Christ. Emma has recently started a Bachelor of Theology. You can view Emma’s previous articles at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/emma-bamford.html
Emma Bamford from Melbourne is returning as a Press Service International writer for Christian Today. Emma is undertaking a part time theology course and is a qualified business marketer. A self-confessed Jesus girl, Emma writes to stir the heart of her readers into becoming more passionate and loving Christians.