This past fall our Sunday morning study focused on the topic “Always Ready: How to Have Faith Conversations with Non-Christians.” In this study, we explored different ways to thoughtfully witness about Christ to people with various beliefs and faith backgrounds. The focus was primarily on the idea of apologetics or defending the faith and giving honest critiques of other religions.
In January the church will be celebrating the season of Epiphany, where we talk about how Christ reveals Himself to us and how the Gospel spreads to people all around the world. To go along with that theme, we will be starting a new sequel series to “Always Ready” called “You Will Be My Witnesses: How to Explain Your Faith in Seven Easy Steps.” This series will dive into the nuts and bolts of our faith and go into the various ways that you can help people of other backgrounds understand what you believe and why. In this age of division where no one seems to want to take the time to understand
each other, it is more important than ever that you know how to explain why you believe what you believe and why your church teaches what it teaches.
Being able to talk about and explain your faith to other people isn’t important just so that other people know why you go to Zion instead of some other church in town, and it’s not about trying to prove that the LCMS is better than everybody else. Ultimately, it’s all about witnessing to people about Christ and the truth of God’s Word. We love Jesus and love the Bible, and so we naturally want to talk to people about who Jesus is, what He has done, and what the Bible teaches. That holds true both for when we talk with non-Christians as well as for when we talk to Christians who believe differently from us.
First, when we talk about our faith to non-Christians, we are especially interested in bringing them to know Jesus so that they receive the eternal life that He gives. Lots of non-Christians in the world nowadays have a very negative view of Christians because they think that Christians are only interested in arguing or “being mean” to people. Even worse, many non-Christians have serious misunderstandings about how Christians think about things and what they believe. It’s important that when we talk to non-Christians we do so with “gentleness and respect” (1 Pet 3:15) and take the time to help them understand where we’re coming from.
Second, when disagreements happen between well-meaning Christians about certain issues, it’s important that we know why we believe what we believe and how to explain it in a way that gives glory to God. If we’re both committed to following what the Bible teaches, we can have a constructive conversation. The problem is, nowadays many self-proclaimed Christians don’t particularly care what the Bible says about a given issue. In either case, though, it’s always important to understand where the other person is coming from, and to be able to give a thoughtful, easy-to-understand explanation of
what we believe.
If you are interested in learning more about how to talk about your faith with family, friends, or co-workers who have different beliefs, you can learn more by coming to the new study “You Will Be My Witnesses” starting January 7 between services, where we will be going through the seven main aspects of explaining our faith. Even if you don’t normally come to Sunday morning study, this is the perfect opportunity to start! We pray that you will be equipped to be a bold and faithful witness of all that God