Why Apologetics Should Be A Requirement For Every Pastor
by Nick Peters
Imagine you live in the first century and you’re a shepherd. You are leading your flock to the water when lo and behold, you notice a wolf is coming. Being the good shepherd, you approach the wolf and say,
“Greetings friend. Come and let us understand your desires with the flock. Let us sit down and share a meal together. You may come and freely interact with my flock and I will allow you to do so.”
You seem puzzled later on when you notice that you have less sheep than you did before.
Or, picture this scenario.
This time you see the wolf and come up to him and get your rod and begin to chase him away. The flock is safe and the wolf knows to not come by.
Which shepherd is truly the good shepherd?
Now let’s talk about another flock, the church. In the church, there are people of all levels. There are some who are seniors and have been in church all their lives. There are youth who are just now getting to make their faith their own. There are the middle-aged who grew up in the church or have just decided to come to church after becoming parents. With them being parents, there are new children in the church who need someone to look out for them as well until they make their faith their own.
Over them is a man that we call the pastor who is to be a shepherd to the flock.
Now while they’re in the building, they could be safe from various threats, but you, the pastor cannot be a babysitter and watch your flock every day and this is one way the people differ from a literal flock of sheep. However, you can equip them so that they can be prepared. Prepared for what?
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Well that twelve year-old boy you have in your audience? He’s going to be on YouTube looking up a favorite Christian song he learned in your church one day and on the side under related videos, he’s going to see something from a group like the Rational Response Squad telling him about all the errors in the Bible and why there is no God. Is that boy prepared if he happens to click that link?
That fifteen year-old boy? Well he’s thinking about getting his driver’s license soon and is already thinking about his freedom. While he’s on his computer, he’s not looking up music. He’s looking for ways to impress his girlfriend when lo and behold, here comes this email inviting him to come to a site so he can “understand” women all the more. Why not? His best buds in school are already starting to talk about their sexual exploits.
See that sixteen year-old girl? Well she’s being given permission to date now and is looking forward to it, but her friends at school are telling her that she needs to sleep with a guy so she can really understand if he loves her or not and hey, don’t worry about pregnancy. As long as he uses a condom it’s okay and if worse comes to worse, you can just get an abortion. Oh it’s not a life. Science has established that. It’s only those bigoted Christians who think that.
How about those eighteen year-olds? They’re graduating and have the whole world ahead of them and are getting ready to go off to college. After a lifetime of Sunday School, they will be put face to face with 25 years of atheism in the form of a professor and all they have is just being told what Jesus has done for them, which the professor will nicely dismiss as a delusion that they grew up with. They need to learn some critical thinking and realize feeling something doesn’t make it so.
How about that middle-aged couple? Their marriage is in trouble right now because he’s considering having an affair. What’s the big deal? If it feels right, do it. He’s just following his heart after all.
That other couple over there? He’s about to be put in a position where he will have to do something unethical at work in order to keep his job. Now sure, it will damage his Christian testimony and his reputation for life, but he has nowhere else to go because the church also has not been a bastion of help for people but has rather chose to focus only on their emotional needs and preaching the same feel-good message for years.
There’s yet another couple. Right now, they’re a bit confused. You see, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been visiting them and they’ve been learning some things that their pastor hasn’t taught them. They’ve learned that the word Trinity isn’t in the Bible and that the Greek scholars really know that John 1:1 doesn’t mean what they think it means. They’ve been invited to the Kingdom Hall and these people are so nice and loving, how can they not be Christians? Besides, who are we to judge?
That elderly woman over there? Her husband just passed away and thankfully, you consoled her through the funeral service but now she’s been watching this guy on TV who’s a preacher and he’s promising her that she will be provided for if she makes a faith donation. Now the church has always supported faith and surely she thinks the pastor will. She just needs to take that social security check she’s going to live on and mail it to this preacher. Surely God will reward her. That’s faith after all. Right?
This is only a start of what is going on in your church at this moment…
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