Over these past few weeks I have been brushing up on Church history – I have to teach a class next month on ‘Catholics vs. Protestants’. I assume that being from Belfast I was the obvious choice for this potentially explosive topic. I decided to first take a look at the topic from the stance of Church history, hence my skim reading of Church history books. As I look at the splits, arguments and divisions in the church I’m forced to ask myself if I am passionate enough about the defence of doctrine. I remember reading about the Counter Reformation when I was at college – some of the discussions got so heated that beards were plucked!
I know some people are always up for a fight, no matter the topic. But am I passionate enough and offended enough when someone misrepresents Christ or teaches something contrary to scripture that I would be mad enough to pluck a beard? I’m certainly not advocating beard plucking but I am wondering if the passionate defence of Christ has gone out of the church. We get road rage, mall rage, someone-using-their-cell-phone-very-loudly-in-a-public-place rage, but when was the last time we got angry about the reputation of God?
Luke 11:2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he taught them that God’s name was ‘holy’. Do I do enough to protect the name of God and His reputation? Our society has tolerance as a watchword so defense and apologetics are not in fashion. So how then do I defend God and His Truth in a way that is both acceptable and also passionate? Perhaps there is not a way to be inoffensive. As I grow in my relationship with God I pray that I will grow both in my passion for the defense of His Name and in the wisdom of how to do this.