I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. When you’re raised Roman Catholic, the church helps you to learn all about the rich traditions of the church through Sunday school and mid-week classes.
But as a young teenager, I also had a lot of questions. I didn’t understand the reasons behind many of the traditions and rituals I was expected to perform. Why am I supposed to genuflect before I go into the pew? Why use the holy water and make the sign of the cross? Why should I confess my sins to a priest? When I asked my questions, the main answer I got was, “That’s just what we do.” Questions like these (as well as a healthy dose of early 90’s teen angst) drove me away from the church all together. Christianity seemed like blind faith.
It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I met a good friend who invited me to his youth group at a protestant church. There was the promise of free food and cute girls, so naturally I was going. But what I found was that the student director was actually able to answer my questions. Over the course of the next year, he showed me good reasons for trusting God. For the first time in my life, it occurred to me that this whole Jesus thing might actually be true!
I don’t think my experience is unique… and this experience isn’t unique to Roman Catholicism. There are many who take a chance and try out their questions on protestant churches only to find that the church doesn’t give them sufficient answers. This is why it’s so important that every Christian have a basic understanding of Christian Apologetics.
Christian Apologetics is the term used to describe the defense of the Christian faith. We’re not “apologizing” for anything… we are presenting a defense to show that our faith is not blind faith, but it is reasonable. In fact, this practice is something that the early church was commanded to do. The Apostle Peter writes, “…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.” (1 Peter 3:15)
What if you knew why your faith was reasonable?
What if you were confident that you could defend your faith against the attacks the world throws at it?
How would your faith be strengthened?
How could you help the people in your life to trust the Lord?
Next week at Stones, we’re starting a ten-week class on Christian Apologetics, and I want to invite you to be a part of it! It’s a journey that has dramatically shaped my trust in the Lord, and I hope it will shape yours as well.