We Are Called To Love, Not "Like" Unbelievers
I do not sugar coat my witness for Christ, nor am I afraid to tell an online unbeliever that if he continues to reject Christ, continues in his ignorance of the Bible as God's Word, and continues to mock God that he will be going to Hell to spend eternity separated from God. But I also make it clear that salvation can be attained even up to the last minute before his dying breath, as the thief on the cross is our Biblical example Luke 23:38-43.
The online unbeliever thinks he possesses a "trump card" and likes to play this card as a way to gain advantage over the truthfulness of the Gospel. Notice I stated truthfulness and not just truth? Because without telling of the ramifications of the rejection of Christ, I believe the witness is incomplete. It's true that it is unsavory, and it's true that it offends. And many churches today are guilty of not telling the whole truth in an attempt to be more inclusive, fill the pews, and not drive people away. But that is another thread for another day.
Back to the perceived "trump card". The unbeliever will accuse the Christian of "not showing God's love as commanded in the Bible" as soon as they are offended, which in many cases is immediately. And many Christians I've seen allow the unbeliever to get away with this accusation. Or the Christian will desperately try to be nice all the time so as not to offend in any way, shape, or form. Is it any wonder that there are so few Christians actually witnessing online?
Here is the crux of the matter. The Bible teaches us to love the sinner and hate the sin. Did Jesus not have "love" when He overturned the tables of the moneychangers? Mark 11:15-17. Was Jesus "nice" when He performed this act? As Christians, the answers are apparent as we have an understanding of this. Jesus was perfect, and He displayed righteous anger towards the sin. It was a display of "tough love", that is for sure. And Christ is our example to follow, as being a Christian is to follow Christ.
Would a Christian today question Christ's love when Christ blasted the Pharisees? Or would they say He should have been "nicer" about it? Or He shouldn't have called them out for what they were? Or that his witness was any less effective because He told the truth?
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
When an unbeliever mocks God, or the Bible, or Christianity, I do not "like" them and let them know about it. I rebuke them, as I should since "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" 2Tim 3:16.
Unfortunately, too many Christians think that they are not displaying "love" if they don't allow unbelievers to walk all over them in their witness; they fold when it comes to defending God. Or they buy into the false notion that they 'are not to judge'. Well it's true that only God can judge the inward sins of the heart, but the Christian is called to discern the outward sin and then rebuke it. That is not 'judging', and this is yet another "trump card" that the unbeliever likes to throw out in an attempt to gain some advantage.
When unbelievers openly sin, when they outwardly mock God, I many times choose to use Jesus' example in the Temple as my example to follow and will overturn their tables. Sometimes I'll take a softer approach. But If I did not have love for unbelievers, I would just take the attitude "to hell with them" and I wouldn't bother witnessing online, ever. I'm also mindful that realistically in this day and age (what I believe are the End Times), surely the battle lines are drawn and both camps are entrenched. And defending God, and defending the Holy Bible is what Apologetics is all about, as well as telling the entire truth.
Edited by Remnant of The Abyss, 16 April 2012 - 02:47 PM.