What does that even mean? As I kid I thought, "That sounds terrible! I don't want to apologize for my beliefs." While they sound the same, apologetics isn't about apologizing for what we believe in (at least not the way we typically use the word). It's about defending our beliefs in a systematic way. Essentially, instead of making wild assertions, accusing people of not being Christians, or just saying "well because I said so!" we instead thoughtfully and carefully explain why we believe what we believe.
Sound scary? It can be, but it doesn't have to be. Over the next several weeks I'm going to dicuss how to defend your pro-life beliefs against common pro-choice arguments. We'll cover talking points as well as tough questions like rape and incest. But first, let's talk about what I believe is the most important part of any debate.
Sounds mushy, right? "Sure, Sarah, if we could all just hold hands and get along we'd be good to go, right? Let's all sing Kum-Ba-Ya while we're at it!"
I'm not talking about being spineless, or giving in. Babies are dying and people with disabilities and the elderly and being euthanized. These are serious topics that need strong people to stand up and make a difference.
We have to realize, however, that we're not going to get anywhere by being nasty, rude, judgmental, or sanctimonious. So, if your goal is to get your opinion out there no matter what, then you can probably stop reading. But, if your goal is to change hearts and minds - this is for you.
1st Peter 3:13-17 is one of my favorite passages when discussing this, and I think it's important enough to copy the whole thing here:
"Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. (ESV)"
Let's be clear that very few of us have truly suffered for righteousness' sake. Being unfriended on Facebook, having someone call us a rude word, or getting the stink eye from a coworker doesn't really count as "suffering." However, those things can feel awkward and uncomfortable. Rest assured that if you're receiving negative feedback because you're doing the right thing, you will be blessed. As the Scripture says, "don't be troubled," just figure it's part of being a believer in a world that can be hostile to us.
Don't stop there, though. We are to always be prepared for the hope that is in us, and we are to give that defense with gentleness and respect.
As I said above, with kindness.
Why? Because if our behavio