Lately, I have been thinking about choosing my battles more wisely. If you are like myself, you are often tempted to fight faulty thinking online or to correct someone’s doctrinal variances in order to “take a stand for justice!” Part of this reason is pride and part of the reason is the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
However, many battles are lost before they even begin!
For example, when I was a teenager, I became a member of the Richard Dawkins Forum in order to stand up against “those Atheists.” Not only did I have no clue what I was talking about, I got taken to the woodshed in history, intellect, and in numbers of opponents. Needless to say, I did not choose my battle very wisely.
Here are 3 quick principles to help us guide our stand for Truth and decisions of when to take that stand.
1. People are wicked and unloving.
Don’t think so? Go to YouTube and click on a harmless video of a kitten and you are certain to see vulgar, hateful comments below it. Even a talented musician is certain to face condescending reviews from others who envy his or her gift. These people do not understand or love Christ and will not change their worldview overnight because of some comment crusader rebuking them. Please don’t try to win someone to Christ on a YouTube comment board, they’re not listening and they won’t change their worldview in the 10 minutes you speak the them.
2. This world is full of bad thinking.
You are bound to find homosexual “Christians,” Chrislamists (join Christianity and Islam), and followers of Christ who think that he was just a really nice guy. You could spend your entire life fighting anti-intellectual worldviews and you will only be grasping at straws. Understand the culture, your audience, and your time. If you have the opportunity to build a relationship and win their trust, you have a platform to teach Christ. If you’re going to try to erase twenty years of bad thinking in 10 minutes, its time to move on.
3. The Church is made of redeemed sinners.
I know this because I am a redeemed sinner and I belong to the Church. I know that not 100% of my doctrine can be correct, but I am striving to be biblically balanced and loving. Please be patient with me in my journey for the gospel. I will also recognize that I am not a caped crusader who can fix all of the problems in my church. When I hear something taught contrary to Scripture, I can speak truthfully in love. Otherwise, in matters of difference of opinion I might as well keep silent.
Brothers and sisters, I am not recommending a hands-off response when false doctrine is taught, but I am saying that I need to understand my audience, time, and motives before engaging in spiritual battle. Let God’s Spirit lead you as you seek to discern the right and wrong times to engage faulty thinking.
For the Gospel, Joshua Komis