“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) This verse is not about apologetics. Unfortunately many use it to justify their chaotic and abrasive approach to it.
We’ll eventually get to everyone’s favorite apologetics verse, 1 Peter 3:15, but over the course of the next couple of weeks I wanted to look at some seldom considered apologetics texts and combine them with some Advent meditations. Here is today’s text.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Col 3:15-17)
We should strive for peace with one another because Christ has conquered chaos. (Col 3:15)
Advent Apologetics assumes the role of a peacemaker. (Matthew 5:9) If your apologetics is disrupting peace or creating chaos, then it might be time to reconsider your approach. Of course this begs the question; “Can apologetics be peaceful?” I’d like to answer that question with a quote from an unlikely source, John F. Kennedy –
“If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.”
There is much violence in modern apologetics. Violence thrives in chaos. Advent Apologetics seeks peace, establish bridges to peace and uses peace a conduit for hope. Alister Mcgrath, in Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers and Skeptics Find Faith (p. 154) states:
“Many are moved to ask about faith when they realize that their friends seem to have something they do not—for example, a sense of peace or purpose, or a deep-seated compassion and love for their fellow human beings. “Where did that come from?” they ask, secretly wondering if they could possess it as well. The love of God is both embodied and proclaimed when Christians serve their neighbors or the world.”
See the progression there? Love – Embodiment – Service – Curiosity – Peace.
An Advent Apologetic is one that creates a space where others can dialogue. It’s not one that puts more space between those that have hope and peace and those that need it.
* For the past 10 years, weave been adventing by providing tons of food to the families in need during the holiday season. It’s not a fanfare and forget event. We go back throughout the year and visit with them, pray with them, and give them a message of hope. Please consider sponsoring one family this year. Find out more here.