5 Ways to Defend Truth

God's word defines truth.

Before we get started with the #TruthInLove series, we need to define some terms.

Truth is reality…what really is.

Subjectivism is where truth and reality are determined by the subject or person.

Relativism is the theory that there is no objective standard by which truth may be determined.  There is no absolute truth.

As Bible believers we believe in absolute truth which means we stand opposed to relativism and subjectivism.  Truth is not relative to time, location, and people groups.  Truth is not subject to peoples opinions or culture.  God’s Word defines truth.

Whew – that was a lot of words that we don’t deal with on a daily basis but here’s the point!

A world of relativism is a world of contradictions.  If I say the coffee pot is empty and you say the coffee pot is full and we are both right…then our world makes no sense.  This is impossible.

If a Christian says “there is a God” and an atheist says “there is no God” we cannot both be right. It is impossible.

So then we move into moral issues.

If culture teaches our teens that sex outside of marriage is okay and even good and we say it is wrong  (I Cor. 6,7) it is impossible to both be right.

So the struggle for us as believers is living in this world of contradictions.

those who reject the Bible

Sometimes in our goal to love others well – the church becomes wishy washy.  While it’s vital we love others well – we must not be ashamed of drawing a line in the sand and saying – “this is wrong”. Period.

But is the Bible absolute truth?  I mean if we aren’t sure –we will never speak up right?  And when we do speak up – should it be via a twitter war or a facebook debate, or should it be privately amongst our children and in Bible study groups, or should it be from blogger to blogger – one on one?

I can’t answer the questions of when to speak up – you will have to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading but I can answer the how.  It MUST be done in love.  How can you know if you are doing it from a heart of love? First, ask yourself –do I love this person that I am talking to?  If you really don’t care for this person, then most likely –the truth you are about to share is going to come off in a tone that makes your truth impossible to accept.  We will be like clanging gongs and cymbals as I Corinthians 13 says.

If we can’t speak in love, we are outside the will of God —do not speak at all.

But if we love the person, pray and then proceed boldly.  Stand firm, let nothing move you. You have entered a spiritual battle.  The enemy is not the person you are contending with but rather Satan himself, the father of lies.  Do this with gentleness and respect.

“But in your hearts revere 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.” I Peter 3:15

If your confidence in the authority of the Bible is not strong – it will be scary to speak up.  So let me give you some facts to build your faith upon from Josh McDowell’s book Evidence Demands a Verdict.

The Bible is unique!

It was written over a 1500 year span by more than 40 authors from every walk of life – kings, fishermen, poets, and scholars. It was written in different places such as the wilderness, prison, and palaces.  It was written in times of war & in times of peace, in times of despair & times of joy.  It was penned on 3 continents -Asia, Africa, & Europe and written in 3 languages –  Hebrew, Aramaic, & Greek.  The Bible contains hundreds of controversial topics…WITH an amazing degree of harmony.

Boom!

Find me 5 random men from your local town who could do this with harmony!  It can not be done – this is what makes God’s word – God’s!

2 Timothy 3:16 says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

The Bible is the Book of Books! It is not merely a book about God – it is a book from God.~ R.C. Sproul

The Bible is the #1 best selling book of all time. No other book in history has been translated, retranslated & paraphrased more than the Bible. The Bible has been translated into over 2,200 languages. No other book comes close to it’s unique influence on civilization including calendar dates (B.C. Before Christ).

The Bible contains over 300 prophetic references to the coming Messiah that were perfectly fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Here’s just a few…
Born Of a Virgin – foretold in Isaiah 7:14 / fulfilled in Luke 1:26-35
Seed of Abraham – foretold in Genesis 22:18 / fulfilled in Matthew 1:1
Tribe of Judah – foretold in Genesis 49:10 / fulfilled in Luke 3:23,33
Born in Bethlehem – foretold in Micah 5:2 / fulfilled in Matthew 2:1
Shall be called Immanuel – foretold in Isaiah 7:14 / fulfilled in Matthew 1:23
Ministry of miracles – foretold in Isaiah 35:5,6 / fulfilled in Matthew 9:35
He was to enter Jerusalem on a Donkey – foretold in Zechariah 9:9 / fulfilled in Luke 19:35-37
Silent before His accusers – foretold in Isaiah 53:7 / fulfilled in Matthew 27:12
Wounded and Bruised – foretold in Isaiah 53:5 / fulfilled in Matthew 27:26
Hands and feet pierced – foretold in Zechariah 12:10 / fulfilled in Luke 23:33

Do you see why we have no reason to give way to fear and ride the fence?

Sweet Christian sisters – some will make you doubt the Bible.  Some will make you feel like you are less than them – less intelligent, less cool, or less culturally relevant.  But you can have full confidence that God’s word is truth.

Where God’s word speaks – we must speak.  And that is what I will focus on in the coming weeks of this series.  God has clearly spoken to the cultural issues of our day.

Where God’s word is silent regarding gray areas – that’s where I will be silent and leave room for personal convictions and grace.

In the book of Judges there is a phrase used over and over…and over.  It says: “In those days, everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” This is the world we live in – a world of no absolutes — a world where right and wrong is defined by feelings and truth has been twisted to suit our own opinions. We must not let this seep into the church.  We MUST be bold and courageous and stand for truth!  The father of lies has taken enough ground – it is time we stand firm and say – you have come this far and you will go no farther. We will not let you mar the bride of Christ. We will not fall for your tricks and deception. We will not play footsies with those who twist your word.

5 Ways to Defend Truth:

1. Get into God’s word – read it daily. Know what it says!

2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” esv

2. Pursue sound doctrine. Don’t follow teachers who itch ears (or spread their quotes and links on your social media).

2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

3. Love everyone including your enemies. Pray for the church, the beautiful bride of Christ.

I John 4:8: “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

4.  Be bold, courageous and unashamed!

2 Timothy 1:7,8: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” esv

5.  Do not be surprised when you are slandered because of your stand for truth.

I Peter 4:12-16: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

May we unite and lift the name of our Lord Jesus Christ higher and shine unashamedly in a dark and weary world.

I look forward to going deeper in with you next Monday!

Chime In: What is the most difficult part for you when defending truth? Is it feeling unequipped and unsure of what scripture says? Is it being called names like judgmental and intolerant? Is it fear of losing a friendship? Or is it a fear of confrontation?

I make this list straight from my heart – these are MY fears too. You are not alone.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

The other posts in this series:
Speaking the Truth In Love
The Authority of Scripture and 5 Ways to Defend Truth
The Ultimate Cultural Sin –Intolerance
How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, and Hater
What is Sound Doctrine?
Should Christians Simply Unite Around the Gospel?
Can a Woman Be an Elder or Pastor?
Should a Wife Submit To Her Husband?
Can Good Works Save You?
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

 

Comments

  1. says

    For me, fear of confrontation is what holds me back. And that’s embarrassing because when I think of all that Christ went through for me, I’m ashamed. I’m really looking forward to this series and will pray for you as you forge through it. I admire you greatly for writing it!

  2. says

    I fear awkwardness – and I also fear that I will come off as unloving. When I am passionate about something, I tend to say too much and then I can come off as arrogant etc. So I tend to say nothing. It’s hard to find the balance. I think it’s important that we ask more questions instead of getting preachy. I tend to cross over to preachy pretty easily and that doesn’t tend to work :/

    I also find it hard to know exactly what I should say and shouldn’t say when it comes to talking to unbelievers. Paul says: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Corinthians 5:12).

    And I also think we as Christians can tend to get defensive of what we believe to the point where what we say isn’t coming from love, but a need to be right. If we are secure in God, we don’t need to “defend” ourselves…we are free to love people and trust that God will build his church. I think sometimes I get defensive :/

    That was jumbled…but those are my thoughts on the matter :)

    • Cindy Scott says

      Me too. I hamate had right heart but wrong tone at times. And we also must remember not to cast our pearls to swine. I will pray for discernment to know when to speak, how to speak and when to know to move on to more fertile soil to cast our seeds.

      • says

        Cindy, I agree 100%!!! Knowing when, where and how to cast seeds that God wants us to do is not always easy to discern. I find that it is easier to know when to cast the seed, but not always easy to know when to move on. I have to remember that God doesn’t need me to always fix or see to completion every situation or opportunity He puts before me, but to plant the seed and let Him do the rest.

        I don’t have as many problems with the confrontations or name calling and bashing that sometimes comes from disagreeing with others on the absolute truths of the Bible. Sometimes confrontation is the opening of dialogue and unless we have a honest dialogue, done out of love, then not much can be accomplished.

    • Tammy says

      That was NOT jumbled Amanda. I struggle with the same thing. I want the one objecting to understand the LOVE that Jesus has for us and what we have to look forward to. I get over zealous and then preachy and then defensive. Agree with you wholeheartedly. Stop defending, more loving and letting Jesus do His perfect work. Thank you for putting my stumbling heart into words.

  3. Heather says

    Thank you for this, really appreciate it in this world where we are being thrown a lot of deception. Even though I know what God’s Word says, I feel susceptible to being deceived because I was raised in a manner that when I told the truth, I was made to believe it was a lie. Because I tend to want to think good of people generally I think I have a way of trying to justify “their truth” even though I know it contradicts the Word. Especially if they are claiming Christianity. I’d appreciate any prayers for God’s help in overcoming this – this is a timely post and something I hope to reference often! God bless!

  4. Rachel says

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I am a teacher at a small Christian school, and this correlates perfectly with our Bible lessons for the next few weeks. I feel that it’s so important for us as adults, and also our young people to know that we have a solid rock to stand on!

  5. Kim says

    This topic it’s so close to my heart right now. My unsaved husband has been saying I am judgemental when I make a stand on right and wrong. The frustrating part is when confronted all scripture leaves my mind and I come off sounding like it’s my opinion, that I’m being judgemental. I look forward to this series and hoping I can learn how to deal with this God’s way.

    • Caroline says

      I too am “unequally yoked” and just within the last year was lead to scripture on this very topic as I had the same problem as you and felt I was failing God by not speaking up. Little did I know that God does not ask us to preach the word to our unsaved husbands but says in 1 Peter 3:1 that our unsaved husbands can be won without scripture. Being in the same shoes as you I would like to recommend a book I am reading called “intercessory prayer” by Dutch Sheets. Excellent resource and one chapter specifically devoted to spiritual warfare for the unsaved. A way to take action without spouting scripture to unwilling ears!

    • Melissa says

      Kim, I also am in an unequally yoked marriage. However, he is seeking God a bit more now and trusting Him. I did all the wrong things then decided silence was probably better because of sounding judgmental as you said. I tried to live as God wanted me to in all areas of my life. I have been praying for 12 yrs for my husband. Last year I did a fast specifically for my husband and his relationship with God. This last December my husband finally started coming around! Don’t give up and don’t stop praying!

    • Delanie says

      My husband is unsaved too. I struggle because my decisions and actions have not always been godly, so it is difficult for me to speak to him about salvation. He cannot see the difference of the Holy Spirit because of my failures. It is a heavy burden. I pray for him often and I desire so much that he will see his need for a savior and accept Jesus. I too saw the verse that Caroline mentions above about our meekness speaking and leading to God. I pray that happens. I will pray for all of you, I hope you pray for me as well.

  6. says

    This is so good. Praying!

    I struggle because I find myself less and less face to face with people and social media isn’t the place to have these conversations or at least hard.

  7. says

    Yes it is hard to speak up for the reasons you’ve said–losing a friend, appearing judgmental. Of saying it the wrong way, at the wrong time. On the rare occasions that I speak up, I usually wish I hadn’t! But we need to rely on the Holy Spirit.

    I’ve also been convicted about being on the receiving end of “the truth in love.” It might hurt, but if it is the truth, may I not be offended.

  8. Lisa says

    Love this…. Could you give a little more clarification on #2… Sound doctrine and teachers who itch the ear, social media?

    • Lindsey says

      I agree with you. I found this article from a link on Facebook, which makes #2 a contradiction. I believe discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit are necessary in determining who is spreading God’s truth vs who is perpetuating lies and being self-serving. I believe the author intended the former, and perhaps unintentionally, set herself in the latter category. Regardless, it spreads a good message.

  9. Paulette says

    My fear is trying to quote scripture to my sisters who do not believe the word of God and doubting myself when put on the spot by their endless judging of why do I believe what I cannot prove. I tend to tred lightly when we speak because I am told that I am a “bible thumper”. I know that God is real and his grace and love is neverending. Thank you for providing this study and I look forward to next Monday.

  10. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says

    I admit that all of what you listed is what I find difficult. When the Duck Dynasty ‘scandal’ was in the headlines, I posted that I agreed with Phil Robertson on my Facebook page, knowing full well that I had gay friends and family members who would likely be offended by that. It started a very heated discussion. I was called a hater and a bigot among other things. It seems that if you agreed with him, you were automatically labeled a hater and that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

    I also don’t have a strong Biblical background but I’m pretty certain what the Bible does say regarding homosexuality.

    I look forward to the continuation of this series and wish you were doing it more than once a week! Blessings dear friend! Have a wonderful week! Love and hugs!!

  11. Christine says

    Hi Courtney- I am intrigued when you say “sound doctrine.” I imagine you are referring to the “sound doctrine” that are the words of Scripture, but when I hear the word “doctrine”, I think of individual church doctrines- official teachings and beliefs. Obviously, each Christian church’s doctrine stems from it’s individual interpretation of Scripture, but how does someone go about discerning what is a true interpretation of “sound doctrine” that is God’s Word, especially when there is so much disagreement and dissent among churches today?

    I also would love to hear your thoughts on the Evangelical church body as a whole, and in history, how it came to be (because, as you said, the Bible was formed over a 1500 year span). I always wonder what the earliest Christians believed if they didn’t have our full Scripture truth to refer to. Was it oral tradition? Word of mouth? Thank you so much for considering these questions:)

    • Joy from Brooklyn (and proud of it!) says

      PS:
      I HATE confrontation LOL. My Mom did too. I try to avoid it.
      I’m a red hot chili pepper sometimes in the Comments sections of news articles. When someone calls me a this or that, I either ignore it, or I’ll write back reminding that person that love means telling someone the truth even if it makes him mad. And that GOD isn’t some kind of ogre. If HE says it’s wrong, it’s because HE loves us with a Father’s Love.

  12. says

    Mine is fear of confrontation which is wrong for me to feel because God does not give us the spirit of fear but of love.
    People can be so mean and heartless, especially online. Some feel they can type whatever comes to their minds, in respond to others, because no no is seeing them, but God is not please.

    Let us move boldly in God and speak the truth to a sin sick world, because only “…the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies”2 Kings 17:39.

    Peace to you.

  13. says

    I appreciate this series, Courtney, because I, too, am a passionate defender of truth. :) Something that is helpful to think about in situations where debates form and arguments heat up is that our real enemy is the devil…not other people.

  14. Shirley says

    I fear the rejection and loneliness of taking this stand. (I am enduring it now.) I also am deeply wounded by the ridicule and mockery. I feel the enemy trying to steal my worship and my joy as i walk through this and i am more than a little angry at the liar.

  15. says

    I was raised Roman Catholic and went through 12 years of Catholic School. Being raised in that is not the same, in my opinion, as being taught to have a personal relationship with God. It’s taken me a while, but I can say, with confidence, that I have one now. Totally new way of living. Now with that said, sharing what I believe face-to-face is still hard for me – I work in a law office (everything has a tangible answer) and I am surrounded by people who are not where I am, or where my family is. I always hear coworkers and friends talk about Bible-thumpers and Holy Rollers…..that’s not how I see hay a personal relationship with God-and I want my life and our family’s to say something about that-maybe people will see we do things differently and something about it makes them wonder and say, I’d like to be like that…. we need to accept and defend the Truth
    -Kristin

    • Sandra says

      Hi Kristin, I have been where you were. As a Catholic I always found something missing in my life.
      As I grew I found friends who knew the bible much more than me. i attended many churches in search of the truth. I met and married a man who I though was a man of the bible only to find out later he wasn’t. His family however were. Through them I was learning that scripture was the only way to go.
      Long story short my husband became ill and had to be hospitalized for the rest of his days. At the end of his life I met another man through my work situation and eventually married him. He was indeed a man of his word or God’s word. We both attended a bible believing church and grew in faith. Today he is completing his bible studies and will soon become a pastor and as he says will feed the flock. I have never been more contented in my life. God and His word the Bible is the only way to live. God bless all who read this and my prayer is that all will come to follow God.

      Sandra

  16. says

    What a great start, Courtney! And I love your questions at the end, for that’s where the Holy Spirit kicked me in the pants. I fear being accused of being judgmental or intolerant, because of a situation in which those accusations are constant. I have to give that fear over to God and embrace His Truth . . . seeking to share it in love, as much as humanly possible.

  17. says

    The fear of confrontation is hard to overcome, when people online become so ugly and self-righteous. If there was such thing as a calm discussion then it would be easier to talk and really hear the other person. I find myself genuinely interested in why others feel the way they do and if we could all really hear the other person, then we might be more effective in shining light on those gray areas.

    I’m glad you’re tackling this topic Courtney! I hope some of your fellow “big bloggers” will take time to sit in on this series. They could learn a thing or two about standing firm and not wallowing in the mud of their new found liberal way of interpreting the Bible.

  18. Amy says

    Feeling unequipped and unsure of what scripture says. I am hoping to grow and be able to stand and have answers for my friends.

  19. Carla Neal says

    For me it is a mixture of feeling unequipped and unsure of what exactly the scripture says, of losing a friend, and of confrontation. Some like to bring up “religion” and “beliefs” to start a confrontation so I don’t want to fan the flam so to speak. If I have a friend who may believe differently than me or not at all I’m afraid if I’m to vocal or say to much they will get mad and tune me out or we would lose our friendship.
    I love the list you gave to defend the faith!

  20. Rosalyn says

    Hi Courtney,
    I also share in the same concerns and doubts just as you and the others, but hopefully during this study our faith and confidence in the word and what we believe will be built up not only for ourselves but family and friends by sharing this message with them and especially to young people soon to be going off to college and opposed for what they believe even by their professors!

  21. Renee Runyon says

    This is great content, Courtney, and I couldn’t agree with you more — except on one item in your prophetic references:

    We are ALL born virgins, but only ONE person was born OF a virgin. This preposition makes an important distinction which needs to be clarified!

    Blessings on you and your ministry, dear sister!

  22. says

    Our family went to see the movie “God’s Not Dead” last night – your post echoes the heart of that movie! I am so excited about this series and the equipping to be bold in sharing why we believe and what we believe.

    Our church is reading through the Bible for the second year in a row. I am so thankful that as a church we are digging into God’s Word. They provide a journal with readings, commentary, and questions for 6 days each week. Our adult SS classes and the sermon are both pulled from that week’s scripture. I agree with you – we have got to KNOW what the Word says before we can defend it! (We read that exact scripture in Judges two weeks ago!! I had the same thought!!)

    One of my biggest struggles in sharing is fear of rejection. While I know it’s the job of the Holy Spirit to change a heart and that often my job is only to plant seeds, I don’t want anyone to reject Jesus.

  23. Leah says

    I struggle with defending truth all the time! I worry that my words or how I say them will get in the way of the true meaning of my message. I also worry that if I go around quoting the bible all the time people are going to think i’m a hypocrite because I am so far from perfect and I don’t really want people to call me out for my sin, so I just don’t say anything and hope that they will navigate their issues on their own. This is something I’ve been really struggling with and that i’m honestly ashamed of because I know that we are supposed to be bold and full of love and be a light in the world. I just don’t know how. I’m really thankful for this study and I’m hoping that it will be a blessing to myself and many others.

  24. Grace says

    Thank you for this series. I feel all those things when it comes to defending my faith. I feel mostly like I’m just not going to be able to answer the questions and that I’m going to lose some people who are really important to me (family). This is going to be a very helpful series for me. Thank you again.

  25. Isabel says

    So appreciate your words of wisdom and clarity. Our world is dark and blurry. And we need to be courageous and speak with love about truth. I love the question you presented… Do you love that person? As I pondered your question… I realized the reason I avoid talking to others is because I don’t really love them. I have my opinion about what’s going on, but to push myself to express truth with love means dependence on the Spirit of God to use me. I have much to learn!

  26. Denise says

    This is an amazing post, thank you so much!!

    I struggle with:

    1. Feelings of awkwardness – I can pray, know scripture and feel so confident yet when I start speaking I sort of freeze up and forget what to say (even though I know I’m only a vessel for God speaking). I can witness on the phone or through email/Facebook, etc. however in person – much more difficult!

    2. This is a very honest answer for me – I fear others thinking I’m ” weird.” I fear losing acquaintances/friends.

    3. I also fear coming across as judgemental. I have had loved ones get defensive and say that I am judgemental (even though I try to be very loving and gentle) so this has somewhat traumatized me to thinking that I am coming across wrong. I am currently reading “The Way of the Master” by Ray Comfort and it’s great! Hhowever I would love some other good sound examples from a Christian woman’s viewpoint of phrases to get started, words to share the Truth, etc. that are confident/firm yet loving.

    Thanks for this series!!

    • Emma says

      I first start praying beforehand for the person I want to witness too.
      I then rely upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance to give me the right words to say!
      Sometimes I don’t say anything, and silently pray for God to open a door maybe nothing happens that first visit then I get kind of discouraged, but then it naturally gets brought into the conversation next time by myself or the person brings it up and says something like “do you believe in God”? Then I tell them that I do and further expand from there.
      Here’s a recent conversation of me telling someone the gospel. My husband picks up a book of the Titanic illustrated with pics
      “Do you know “persons name” that people on board the ship would of been saved that night. The bible tells us that if we confess with our mouth The Lord Jesus and that if we believe in our heart, that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved Rom 10:9
      The bible tells us that we’re all sinners and are in need of a Savior. Sin is anything against a Holy God. Lying, murder, adultery, steeling. (The Ten Commandments)
      Jesus died on a cross to take away our sins to save us from hell, or a lost eternity if I want to soften it a little. Even on a deathbed prayer God will hear you like He would those on that sinking ship and you can spend forever in eternity with Him! God is merciful and wants us to have a relationship with Him. Not a religion! ”
      Now this doesn’t come easy at all to me, and I’m usually glad when it’s over. I was worried this person wouldn’t want to bother with me again, but they do! I don’t mention anything now its been said.
      I always say grace in front of them, and take them home baked cookies.

      When someone says to me I don’t believe in God when your dead you’re dead
      I say, if you’re right and what I’m saying isn’t true, either way when i die I’ve got nothing to lose, but if when you die and you find out it is true what I’m saying, and you’ve been wrong then you have everything to lose.

      I don’t doubt at all, but it usually makes the person think!

  27. Barb F says

    Wow ow ow! : ) Your messages are full of love and light. Thank you, LORD, for opening up my heart and soul to this message!

  28. SarahJ says

    what is the most difficult for me to defend the truth?? all of the above!!! lol i hate confrontation, so i know that when i say something that is against what someone else believes, there is going to be confrontation! that is a big thing. i am also not good at thinking on my feet. i always think of a good ‘comeback’ or response after the moment has passed!! that is why i don’t like doing things in person. i like to think i have all my ducks in a row, but if i am caught off guard with a comment or question, i am not the best at responding intelligently! that is why i like doing it on facebook. i can still do it lovingly (and i have), but it gives me time to think about and write out my response in a way that is clear and knowledgeable. i am also very passionate about what i know to be right, so things can tend to get away from me when i talk about these things and tensions rise! my first response is always one not necessarily done in love. when i respond over email or fb, i get a chance to have that moment, but then calm down, breathe, and write out what i REALLY want to say…

  29. Tammy says

    This is an excellent new series! Have you heard of “The Truth Project” from Focus on the Family? It’s been around for several years now and is amazing. It is a DVD series on Biblical Worldview – in other words, filtering everything we think and do through God’s word, which is the only truth. It is a 13 week DVD study. I have gone through it in adult small groups, hosted it in my home for high school seniors/going off to college students, at our church with college age people and now our church is doing it for our New Believers class. I encourage you to go through it if you haven’t already. The bottom line is that a person must know the truth as laid out in the bible in order to withstand the constant bombardment of lies of this world. Be strong, as you will undoubtedly receive criticism. Satan already hates what you are doing, but this will increase the attacks. Praying for your ministry! In Christ’s love, Tammy

  30. Carissa D. Huffman says

    I always worry that I will come across wrong–I do not ever want to be perceived as coming from a place of hate or self-righteousness.

    Romans 3:22-24 says
    This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

    I don’t ever want someone to think I believe a I am too good.

    Thanks for this series–I really think it will be a blessing

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

    • Joy from Brooklyn (and proud of it!) says

      Well, there’s a difference between being “too good”, which none of us can ever be “too good.”
      And being “righteous overmuch”- Ecclesiastes. If they think you’re “too good” I like to keep in mind that anyone can follow The Word, not just little ole sinful me. GOD didn’t come down from heaven and anoint me as the only righteous all-holy saint on the planet. It’s not like that. A lot plainer, simpler: HE sent Jesus to die for us. And even Jesus said: ‘Why do you call me good? ONE there is good: GOD. Worship HIM.’
      So I wouldn’t worry about others thinking you’re too good.
      Being overly righteous means acting holier than thou, basically. Not being down to earth. Placing too many expectations on others. And being too rigid. Not moral. Rigid. Fine line, yes. But make a study of what the great women in The Bible did. That’s a good place to look at this. They were uncompromising in their faith. But shrewd when they needed to be.

  31. Nadine H says

    Thanks Courtney for blogging this! When I was in school (specifically High school) I absolutely LOATHED debates, getting up in front of class & groups. Even for awhile when I transitioned into my adult years I had difficulty. It wasn’t until after I was saved & started getting involved in the ladies’ group at church that I really started coming out of my shell, eventually being in a leadership position… now I’m a Pastor’s wife, but I still get somewhat nervous in front of groups.

    One of my biggest issues is messing up in a way that would cause others to stumble. Lord knows I make my share of mistakes (like learning to play the piano & fumble on Sunday mornings – eek!) – it’s more of an embarrassment & upset at myself because I do mess up even after tons & tons of practice.

    With discussion, debating, etc., since writing is more of my strongpoint, that’s what I tend to gravitate towards. It gives me time to read it over, think on it, pray about it & my reply, fact-check, & even sometimes vent it out before giving my reply. When in more verbal situations, I find myself getting flustered, distracted, and so on, which can prove to be more detrimental to “defending” the truth.

  32. Rainah says

    Heather’s comment about her inclinations to try to see the best in everyone is like my polar opposite. I bet she is one of those inutterably love people who would say the glass is half full, while I’m of the opposite type. In the flesh, I’m more inclined to look for weaknesses in someone’s points (which is a skill that has its valuable merits), but if I’m walking in my flesh – I know that ***in my flesh*** I’d like to roll my eyes without clarification. Knowing that about myself has helped me to ask people what they really mean, and I’ve been amazed by what I find out when I do. So over time, like Debbie, I’ve come to value hearing people out – even asking them *why* they believe or say something…..

    Still….

    My biggest ‘fear’, or rather, concern in confrontation is that I’ll forget to walk in prayer before the throne of grace – before the mercy seat. Without that prayerful state, I can still enter into a situation in the flesh – even though I’ve learned *how* to watch for the rise of passions (lusts of the flesh such as wanting to be right, wanting to be understood, wanting vengeance when others lash out, expecting those who *ought* to love me to love and protect me from themselves to do so, etc.). If I’ve been walking before the throne of grace, or seek the throne of grace in the face of a confrontation, I’ve come to trust God to help me remember just who my God is (the God of righteousness, sanctification, provision, our BANNER, and more). I’ve also come to trust God to help me remember just who my enemy is and *isn’t*, and remain focused on the fact that any human enemy might be among the called, and may need my witness of love – even if they don’t receive the gospel while I’m right there with them, and etc.

    But if I’m not prayed up……., I can still stumble. That is my gravest concern.

    2) My second concern has to do with appropriate time/ways to confront (or at least not stand with) legalism in the church (or the legalism of ‘anti-legalism’, or the legalism of ‘what does availability mean today’)

    3) *****From where I stand to date****** I am, well, not quite fearful, but unsettled in asking locally, such things as: Knowing when all of this moves to *a woman’s realm*, and when it doesn’t. I mean, in my heart and mind, this is a big deal. I am open to correction on the veracity of that question, but it is one of my questions to date. – – I mean, backing up for a moment: confrontation – contending for the faith, was a big deal in Jude – it ought to be addressed. Right after Jude said, “Mercy unto you and peace and love be multiplied.” He jumped directly into the need for confrontation back in his day, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance…..etc. (and here he puts the need for ‘contending for the faith’ in the context of unbelief and rebellion from before creation and going on throughout the OT)” – –

    So confrontation is right and proper and good, but how much of that is within the realm of women – when, how, and why? (don’t beat me up here, okay, I’m really not sure…… believe me, I’m a confrontationalist by nature, and I believe God made me that way – perhaps it’s really only my sin nature, but I don’t believe that….. He’s confrontational too………, so I *really* need to know my bounds……. – not legalistic bounds, but scriptural bounds to help me assess whether I’m listening to the flesh or the spirit… – – – – Jude is so clear, and so is DNA, and etc., that we have bounds – – we should not leave the habitation and function which God prepared for us, IMHO……, and as long as that is my conviction, that’s how I need to inquire……… if I’m actually off on that, please correct me in love???)

    I4) That said, today, I can relate to Amanda’s struggle with saying too much at a time (is that obvious yet?). More and more often, I can speak in a spirit of love in general – but I can speak too long, or is that just a legalistic accusation that is thrown my way (or is it sometimes true, and sometimes an empty legalistic accusation). Would people really listen better if I was short and concise? Would short and sweet really be heard anyway? Still, short and sweet is wise!!!! And I know that. My personal struggle with that is bigger than that of most of you because I shadow NLD, and words are my world (as some NLDers put it…..)..

    When I struggle with where to land on this as an NLDer (as a person extensively prone to many words), I think back to the fact that some of my long posts as a homeschooler received a lot of encouragement….. (that some people listen to my wordiness and report being encouraged by specifics?). I need God’s direction in this to clarify more fully so I know with more clarity when I slide off of the Spirit road and into the ditch.

    In the end, all of this *always* goes back to walking in prayer before the throne of grace, before His mercy seat…….. He is not the accuser……… He died, willing to remove all accusations….. even the accusation that others merely pretended to misunderstand even Him……..

  33. says

    Very well written. For me, it is coming off as intolerant. I love people- all people. I truly do feel like I see all people as people God loves and created. We are all sinners- and my sin is no different then anyone elses. It all disgust God. However, some topics, I come across intolerant, because although I love the sinner – I HATE THE SIN! I am not called to love sin in someones life -and I tend to be a little black and white. I am not going to tell my kids it is okay to be or do certain things – in the name of love. NO! I am going to teach them to LOVE people and hate ALL sin. ALL. Thank you for getting us started in such a beautiful way Courtney! :) <3

  34. Jill says

    I feel like there are so many people in the church that have succumbed to seeking teachers that will tell them what their itching ears want to hear, and frankly just don’t care to hear the truth or seek it out in gods word for themselves. I’m pleasantly surprised to read comments from ladies like myself on here as I often feel I’m living on an island with my husband and my church family (we attend a bible church pastored by one of John Macarthurs trainees-very biblically sound). I so appreciate this blog and you taking the time to do this. I was praying for you yesterday and again this morning in anticipation of this post. It is so needed in a world of very surface level bible studies for women that focus on “how I can make my life better” rather than “how can I bring glory to The Lord” or sharing the gospel. Will this be in some kind of PDF download in its completion bc I would love to share,?

  35. JoLynnH says

    For me, I am unsure of what scripture says for certain situations and this causes me to doubt whether I should speak up in certain situations….so, I guess confrontation is a fear too. Pushing family members away is also a fear of mine. Mainly my older brother. He’s dealt with watching one of his daughter’s battle leukemia (thank GOD she is still with us and doing very well after fighting that disease for 3 long yrs beginning at the age of two). After watching his daughter go through this and watching other families lose their children while his lived, he has lost his faith and struggles with a lot of anger as to why this had to happen to his family. I love him greatly but do not agree with a lot of his life choices and it’s so hard to speak with truth and wisdom since I am not well-versed in the bible scripture. I love this series and am so thankful and proud of you for taking this brazen step! God Bless <3

    • Ashley says

      Oh JoLynn, how my heart hurts for you and your brother! I don’t know what it’s like to see a niece battle cancer. But I understand the heartbreak of seeing your brother not walk with the Lord. My brother doesn’t walk with the Lord either. What your family has been through is devastating. I will pray tonight for God to soften your brother’s heart and bring him back to Jesus.

  36. Mary Beth says

    Oh I need this so badly! I get so nervous because I was raised Catholic, and at my church, we weren’t encouraged to read the Bible, it was supposed to be explained to us. I’m finally reading it myself, but to memorize verses and really know scripture takes time. I have had Jehovah witnesses come to my door that throw around verses I never heard of, and then I lose all sense of what to say!
    I’ve also heard people say this…
    – The Bible was put together by men, and there were books that they decided not to include, so how do we know that those who put it together didn’t have an alternate agenda they were serving? And the same question about the translations. Did people commissioning them have certain motives? I like to think they were completely lead by God to put it together, but men do have a tendency to serve themselves.
    And, truth be told, I find myself wondering this sometimes :(
    Thank you so much for being brave and letting God lead you Courtney!

  37. says

    An excellent article, Courtney! I used to be quite bold in declaring the truth of the Word and, over the years, have taken a lot of flack for it. The thing that has hurt me the most and, ashamedly, made me back off more than a little, is when those close to me have accused me of being judgmental and ‘holier than thou’ because I dared to speak the truth. Your article has ministered second confirmation to me. It’s time to pull myself up by the bootstraps, allow the Spirit to lead, and get back into combat. Time is short and the devil knows it, and he’s pulled out all stops. It’s up to those of us who will pick up the mantel to get back in there and defend the faith, and occupy, as the Lord has commissioned us to do, until His coming. Thanks for the pep talk! May God richly bless you in all that you do for Him.

  38. says

    Courtney,
    I applaud your’guts’ and tenacity in this project. I can’t wait to continue to enjoy this apologetic refresher course! Thank you for bravely following after God very own precious heart! I’m making a list of verses you use and the family will be memorizing these (BIG T) thruths in the days and months to come. Thanks! Praying for your heart and family.

  39. Heather says

    Oh Courtney, you have hit the nail on the head. Fear. My fear holds my tongue in check. I do not want to push the people I love so deeply away. I do not like confrontation. I have told myself that it is enough to just set an example, pray, and continue to love. I need to be bold and courageous! I am so delighted that you are doing this series. It is so needed.

  40. Tiffany Blackwell says

    I always remember how tender yet stern Jesus was with the adulterous woman they wanted to stone to death. He saved her life by making others look at their own sin and realize they too did not live perfectly by the law. Yet he told her now you have to turn from this person you were and find new life in me.
    I try to be tender to others who maybe living in sin as I speak with them. As I am reminded that I have my own downfalls. However, we must not forget that second response where Jesus wants us to share that they no longer should live that way and that HE can help them change that.
    Beth Moore says my favorite thing : “You’re a much neater person healed than you would have been well.” We have to share God’s word with non -believers with the realization that God will use them and their struggles no matter what they have been through. Just as he is using us and our experiences to reach them and it ain’t always pretty. It is usually messy but so worth it!

  41. says

    When I am rehearsing in my mind what to say when my beliefs are challenged, I can come up with pretty good answers and scriptures to back them up, but when suddenly thrown in the mix of a challenging situation, I often struggle with what to say and end up feeling pretty clumsy many times. I know the Holy Spirit works to enable us, to strengthen us when we are weak, but I have to admit there are times when all I am left with is frustration yet hoping God was working through me in spite of myself.

    I look forward to this series and believe it will help so many of us, thank you for doing this.

  42. says

    Mark 8:38 has Jesus saying”For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in the adulterous and sinfulgeneration, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of himwhen He comes in the Glory of His Father witthe Holy Angels. Jesus said follow my commands if you love me!! Matthew 4:19-20 “Follow me” !! Listen and be obedient to God’s word!!

  43. tanya says

    The hard part for me is feeling like it’s a losing battle. I feel that the faithful believers are so outnumbered. I feel weary knowing that what I believe is truth and right but there are so many others that find a way to twist God’s holy word and use it against me in a way that is out of context. Its frustrating when people who have never studied the bible seem to have a million reasons as to why they think it is inaccurate, contradicting and “just a book” wtitten by “just a bunch of self-serving, sexist men”. To a real believer, their ignorance of the bible is so plain to see but nothing will convince them of that. It makes it hard to speak the truth knowing you will get beat down by a bunch of untruths and ears that are unwilling to listen.

  44. Frances Harper says

    Well said! This is so true that we as Christians must spread the Good News of Christ Jesus! Ephesians6:11 Put on the Full Armor of God.This means know His wordsand the best way to do this is reading the Bibledaily,pray for understanding and knowledge and ask for the guidence of The Holy Spirit so that you may stand firm when up against the enemy.Ask The Lord to give you His Full Armor!
    Peace to all!:)

  45. says

    I was walking to an appointment when I passed a man speaking to a women. As I got closer to him I heard him say “We don’t believe in Easter”. the women he was speaking to asked him if they were going to do Easter dinner? He relied that they still do that for their family but neither he nor his girlfriend believe in God. I was convicted to talk to him about God but did not know what to say so I started praying. I always carry a little booklet that explains about salvation and who Jesus is. I remembered I had it in my purse but still walked right past him on my way to my appointment. As I reached for the door handle I could not take the shame I felt so I turned around and headed back only to find that man coming toward me. I told him I could not help overhear his conversation and wanted to give him something. I handed him the booklet and told him that I hoped he read it and to have a good day. He politely took it from me and walked away. I left feeling like I had been a good person but the next day God convicted me that I was doing that for me not for that young man and if I had thought about him first and his lost soul I would have said so much more. I imagined him standing at the gates of hell and if I could have seen that I would fight so much harder out of love for this man not what I get out of it. We not only need to be ready but like you said and God’s word say we need to do it out of love. Out of love brings strength to our words. Thank you for your encouraging words and sharing God’s word with us.

    • Joy from Brooklyn (and proud of it!) says

      My dear, and I quote:
      ” the next day God convicted me that I was doing that for me not for that young man and if I had thought about him first and his lost soul I would have said so much more. I imagined him standing at the gates of hell and if I could have seen that I would fight so much harder out of love for this man not what I get out of it.”
      Sounds like you are beating yourself up royale. Been there. Done that. However, are you sure your change of heart and turning around and going back to him was “for yourself??” Explain that to me, please, because I don’t get it. First off, he’s a stranger. He’s a man. You’re a woman alone going to an appointment. If you feel you could have done a little bit more, that’s fine. And you can. Pray for him. And if you meet someone else in a similar way and feel you can improve upon what you did last time, that’s how we learn and grow. OR be careful because, I reiterate, he’s a strange man and you’re alone. Prayer covers a whole lot more than a pamphlet. Ask GOD to help you use your discretion and caution.
      And PLEASE stop beating yourself up. Doesn’t Satan already do enough of that to us???

  46. Sue says

    Wow~ Great study, and I can relate to everyone’s comments. While I also, struggle with the same issues of discussing The True Word of God, I usually reply to those, (especially those who try to shock you, or suggest you are a hater, by saying something like,”my uncle is gay”, immediately trying to throw you off track-which sometimes does) while praying and asking for the Holy Spirit to give me guidance/words, truth etc, I find that is the only way to approach them. If they are so forceful that they don’t often give you time to talk, or they stop you in your tracks, especially if you weren’t prepared to share the Gospel at exactly that point. I usually stay silent, (don’t cast your pearls among swines) or I start a conversation, (led by the Holy Spirit) by saying first- that I am probably the biggest sinner I know, that usually takes them off guard b/c they are just looking to argue, or put you down. All while done in love, (exp.- I often tell them I love them, and wish for them to know the Glory of God’s mercy and love. And the peace, that surpasses all understanding, while using my example of what God’s done for myself and my son, after some really tough year’s and a stage 3 Cancer diagnosis for me) Then I finish it with- “I love you, and want to be with you in God’s perfect eternal world.” But, I will keep on praying for them, after all, it’s God’s perfect plan, all Glory be to Him.

  47. Christiaan says

    Hello and great article! For me it’s the fear of confrontations and being unequipped and unsure of what the Bible says :(

  48. Tiffany says

    Great truth! I’m actually the opposite in I’m too bold in my faith and rush in with my opinions and words, albeit biblically based and sound, without consulting the Lord. But praise God, He is showing me this! Yes I need to stand firm in my faith! Yes I need to be unmoved by the world’s opinions and standards! But I’m discovering that my life and actions speak in a way that my words never will. I’m trying to discipline myself never to speak unless asked and even then not to speak without consulting God, otherwise it may be my words and my glory instead of His. Which is a big ouch for me because I haven’t done this much at all :(

    • Jennifer says

      I completely understand this. I just lost a friend from being to bold. I must have given to many scriptures and to many examples against a new age religion of attracting positive energy, because the next thing I knew I was blocked and couldn’t respond to her last words. We have been friends since middle school, and we are in our 30’s. I pray for her and her new choice of religion. I don’t feel guilty in this debate, because she will reflect on our discussion and I know that it will help her some day. I am reminded of Esther who was silent and kept her secret until it was “for such a time as this.” What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t say anything…..it was time. In God’s time I hope we can be friends again, or if never I accept that too. God is in control. He makes certain people bold and certain people quiet, he creates writers, musicians, singers, and dancers. He appoints evangelist, preachers, nursery workers, and teachers. We are all uniquely made for a purpose, but it always has to be the way that God intended us to it. Keep Walking Forward!!! God loves us always.

  49. Jessica says

    I just discovered your blog…..I have recently been burdened to dig deeper into the apologetics side of my faith. I have become so disturbed as I read about love, love, love……..which is completely needful, but not while turning a blind eye to His holiness or misinterpreting the Word. I so look forward to reading your blog!

  50. Terry says

    I discovered your blog from a Facebook post from a friend. I very much enjoyed your article. It truly is time for followers of Christ to stand up. I am a man, so I hope it is okay if I follow your blog. I look forward to learning more from your teaching. I will be praying for you.

  51. Jennifer says

    To my surprise I started reading this article off of another site, and it led me back to your site. God is good. Ok, I really needed this tonight. I just came home from a ministry dance performance about human trafficking. I know this is a tough subject and that it needs awareness, but as I sat there and saw one heavy dark performance after another with no hope I felt this wasn’t what I thought it was. Shouldn’t there be a message of hope? Shouldn’t Light be apart of the message? I am not saying anything against this whatsoever, but am just wondering what others may think. Life is dark enough without the hope, right? My heart is heavy and I will be in deep prayer, because I was thinking about letting my daughter be in this ministry. I just don’t know what I feel about this right now. Any thoughts would be appreciated……Thank you.

    • Joy from Brooklyn (and proud of it!) says

      Just my opinion: As an artist’s perspective, I like to write hope into all my stories generally. But there are artists who don’t, in order to portray the “raw truth” of how bad things are in this world. So maybe this writer did this to discourage other young girls from getting caught up in something this bad.
      Why don’t you ask the writer?

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