08 May

Do We Need to Take a Stand for Our Faith Today?

In 1521, King Henry VIII of England helped produce a tract titled Assertion of the Seven Sacraments, directed against a German Monk who had been causing some trouble for the Catholic Church. It wasn’t a good piece of writing or theology. The tract horribly misrepresented Martin Luther’s theology, and overall, it was pretty weak.

But Pope Leo X was rather impressed with it, and awarded King Henry a title as a reward: “Defender of the Faith.”

  • Later, when Henry wanted to break with the Roman Catholic Church because they wouldn’t annul his marriage so he could marry another woman, the Pope tried to take the title away. But the English Parliament awarded the title to Henry and all of his successors. Therefore, one of the official titles of the reigning monarch of England is “Defender of the Faith.”
  • It is strange to think that such an impressive title could be passed on, whether the person deserved it or not.

One:
Found on YouTube…the Deen Show, Interview with Joshua Evans, a Youth Pastor, who turned very strongly to Islam. Top 10 Reasons why Jesus is not God! Why God cannot be human! Quoting John 18…no man has seen God at anytime

Two:
The recently announced 4th century Coptic papyrus fragment in which ‘Jesus’ refers to ‘my wife’ has generated quite the buzz in the media.

  • The New York Times’ provocative headline read “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.”
  • David Letterman had a spoof about it on his show.

Well, first things first, does this fragment prove that Jesus was married?

According to Dallas Theological Seminary New Testament scholar Dan Wallace, “The answer is an emphatic no. At most, it can only tell us what one group of ‘Christians’ in the middle of the second century thought. But it says nothing about true history, about Jesus of Nazareth.”

But today, as of now…there seems to be a growing consensus that the fragment is actually a fake.

While sensational headlines like these can create doubt and confusion for people, they can also create timely opportunities for us as Pastors and Christian leaders to remind those we serve of the importance of understanding why we believe what we believe (i.e., apologetics).

Four things to say….

  1. We need to know that defence and offense is not optional…it is essential. In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer [apologia] to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…1 Peter 3:15
  2. Apologetics is not for the intellectual or the academic. This is because everyone has questions. Children, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Christianity is true and it speaks of practical day to day lifestyle.
  3. We don’t need to be specialists, but we need to be able to absolutely defend the flock for the wolves. Therefore we need to be prepared.
  4. We are busy people. 24/7 on call. But two practical things…
    • We need to study the basics at least
    • Get someone to help and come teach.