"In apologetics, the concern is not with those who throw rocks but rather with their publicized attacks against Christianity that, if left unanswered, are potentially deceiving to multitudes of people."
If you decide to take a stand for Biblical Christianity, and take the claims of the cults head on, one question you can expect to have asked of you is, "why are you trying to tear down someone else's religion? Why can't you just believe what you believe, and let others believe what they think is right."?
Often times, this question can come from a close friend, or a family member. It is easy to be taken off guard by this sort of an accusation. Our defenses are usually raised immediately, and we either respond to the person face to face angrily, or if you present the claims over social media sites, such as Facebook, we hammer out an angry message back to the person. While this might make us feel good for a moment, we typically are still left angry, and hurt. And secretly, maybe you wonder if it really is your place to speak up against someones beliefs. "After all," we reason, "I have no shortage of my own problems, and I don't have everything figured out...perhaps I will just stop witnessing to this person".
While this is in part true, that each of us have our own problems, and we are all sinners, and far from perfect, it does not mean that we should not contend for the faith that we have given our lives to. What's more, you can be assured that the enemy does not cease to pit itself against the truth of the Bible. While we may decide to stop witnessing to people, or providing an apologetic defense for Biblical Christianity, those who raise themselves up against the truth of the scripture are still on the offense, proclaiming that the message of the cross is foolishness.
Recently, I was reading in a book, entitled, "Reasons for Faith" by Norman Geisler and Chad V Meister, this statement from apologist Kurt Van Gorden, who has participated in debates against leading Mormon apologists, which says, "In apologetics, the concern is not with those who throw rocks but rather with their publicized attacks against Christianity that, if left unanswered, are potentially deceiving to multitudes of people."
From this statement, we see that we as apologists, do not defend Christianity, as if Christianity cannot withstand the attacks leveled against it, but that those who are attacking Christianity, choose public forums, to level their attacks against Christianity. So if Christians do not provide a defense against the claims these groups make, they could potentially deceive a large number of people. Please note, as I said, the attacks being leveled against Biblical Christianity, are often leveled in a highly publicized arena. Facebook is quickly becoming just such an arena, where we see groups forming that attack Biblical Christianity's claims. In a response to this, people, such as myself, have formed our own groups to defend Biblical Christianity against the various claims of the cultists.
So why should we respond to the claims made? Why are we "attacking others beliefs"? Well, that question is not altogether truthful. First, let us remember, that Mormon doctrine itself attacks Biblical Christianity. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, says that in his vision, he was told that all of the churches are corrupted, and its members, and that they are all an abomination before the Lord. And that the Bible to has become corrupted, and the gospel itself was in need of full restoration.
Remember, Mormon missionaries come to your house, knock on your door, talk with your family, with the message that the Mormon church is the only true church on the face of the earth, that the book of Mormon is the most correct of any on earth, and attempt to convert you. They are on the offense, and they are in your area, promoting their gospel. Isn't the least that we as Christians can do, be prepared to give an apologetic defense against those who claim that our beliefs are in error?
Jude 1:3 says, "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." Notice, we are to contend for the truth of our faith.
Again in Galatians 1:9, we read, "As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!". This means that the gospel that Paul received, and preached in his epistles is the true gospel of our Lord. So if anyone was to be out preaching a gospel contrary to this, they are giving you a false gospel, and they are accursed!
However, 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.". It is possible to refute someone, and tear the argument apart, and lose the soul. Which one of these has eternal consequences? If you are a Christian reading this, remember that you too, were lost, and the message of the cross was also foolishness to you. Those who willfully reject the message of the Gospel, are in spiritual darkness. Let us not mock, tear down, or ridicule. Let us remember we are hear to give an answer for the reason of the hope that is within us, with gentleness, and respect. Do not become a noisy gong.
Whether you are a Mormon reading this post, or a Christian who has stayed on the side line a little to long, I encourage you to become active. We are commanded to be ready to give an answer for the reason of the hope that is within us, with gentleness and respect, and to be ready to do so, in season, and out of season.