Question:

Mr. Hamilton,

First and foremost, thank you and the La Vista Church of Christ for the great Christian example you have set. I too am part of the churches of Christ (Romans 16:16). My question to you is how should I conduct online teachings? Just recently, I've started visiting sites speaking against things, such as gay marriage, and speaking for the Bible and providing proof that there is a God. However, I've received much hostility - it's to be expected - but do you think this is a good idea? If so, what can I do to make sure I conduct myself as a Christian?

God bless you and the church.


Answer:

See: When Good Men Do Nothing.

One reason society slips is because people no longer reason concerning the truth. People assume that a lack of objection means approval. This is also why people who support error come down hard on objectors. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:10-12).

You don't have to convince the person you are talking to in order to make an impact. You have to remember that the Internet is open to everyone. Far more people are ease-dropping in on your conversation that you can imagine. So when you are discussing, keep in mind that you are teaching other people and leaving an example of how to stand for the truth. "When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise; but when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge" (Proverbs 21:11). When dealing with someone who supports error, my tendency is to point out one or possibly two major flaws in their reasoning. If it is rejected, I simply move on knowing I made my point.

Keep in mind that most often Jesus and the disciples did not search out confrontation -- Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple was more the exception than the rule. Jesus and the disciples focused on teaching the truth and those objecting to the truth sought them out. This is something you need to keep in mind. People are going to value what you say more when they see a track-record of good answers. Start a blog to discuss religious matters to get people thinking about the reasonableness of Christianity in everyday life. Because of search engines, it won't be long before people with questions will start finding your writings and start asking related questions. And when objectors do come, here is where you can spend more time answering in detail why the objections are not reasonable.