What are your thoughts on Christian apologetics?

Floyd Rogers

Apologetics literally means to “speak in defense,” and there are plenty of authors with books about apologetics. It’s something I find fascinating because as I dissect anti-theist arguments, I find new understand of how God’s creation affirms His presence, something I’m sure those who oppose our faith don’t realize their words do. But is apologetics something on which we are told to spend a lot of time?

I have to admit, I probably spend more time than I should reading atheist writings so I can understand their complaints, and scripture to find the shortfalls of anti-theist criticisms. I could justify doing this with 1 Peter that tells us to always be ready to give answer for our faith. This brings me back to the question at the end of the first paragraph.

Our first calling as Christians is to spread God’s Word to as many people as possible. We do this so that by hearing God’s message they are, for those few precious moments, not distracted by the things of this world. I believe we don’t win people to Christ through argument springing from cognitive skill. If salvation was something we achieve through our own efforts, it would be the result of works and not faith.  But Ephesians seems to tell us it’s the other way around; salvation is a gift. By sharing the Gospel, are we not simply removing the distractions of this world for those few precious moments; that is, removing the static between God’s people and salvation? It is His call after all, that leads to salvation, and not something we’ve done.

I think it’s important to note here that some Christians seem more eager to win internet debates than lead someone to God.  How would winning a debate at such a cost honor God? Studying apologetics is being ready to give answer about our faith, but not that which results in saving faith.  

When you give answers to non-believers, especially those in the anti-theist set, are you helping them understand or causing them to dig their heals into the dirt of non-belief?

What are your thoughts?

Arson, vandalism and minor damage reported this week against congregations

These are some of the crimes committed against congregations reported today in North America:

The Church of God in Aylmer, ON in has been hit by vandals four times in the past month according to a report from The London Free Press.

KSNB Television is reporting that trial set to begin for a Nebraska man accused of setting a church on fire in Buffalo County, Nebraska.

A Sacramento, California man was arrested for arson after setting a church on fire in Glenn County, California according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Unknown criminals damaged the marquee at Macedonia AME Church in Carrollton, Virginia according to The Smithfield Times.

A cathedral in Ohio was vandalized with graffiti stating, “Jesus is Black” according to the Catholic News Agency.

A Toledo, Ohio police officer and a church arson suspect were both killed in a standoff this week according to WTOL television. A sheriff’s deputy was also killed according to NBC News.

Mike Rogers leaving Brian Free and Assurance

DAYWIND RECORDS

After 8 years as part of Brian Free & Assurance, Mike Rogers has decided to come off the road and will be taking on a full time position at his church, beginning February 1.

Brian Free says, “Mike and his entire family have been such a blessing and I know God has a great future in store for them. Mike we love you and will miss you.”

If you have asperations of being a baritone singer in one of America’s most loved southern gospel groups, Brian is accepting applications!

No, religion isn’t the cause of war

Floyd Rogers

History is rife with leaders doing bad things in the name of God. Is this justification to say all religion is evil? This is an excellent question.  This is often brought up by opponents of our faith who make a common mistake: They assume a causal agent without justification. Let’s consider something other than religion and see if this way of thinking sounds like something our critics would accept if we were to apply their standard to something else.

There have been a lot of bad things done in the name of science.  There have been some pretty gruesome crimes committed in the name of advancing knowledge. If you Google Tuskegee Syphilis Study, you’ll see just one of the many kinds of torture men are willing to put other’s through in the name of science.  Notice I said, “in the name of science.” I did not say science caused them to take malicious actions. The Tuskegee study is just one example of how flawed men will justify their evil actions by shrouding them in something noble like science or faith. In reality, it is their lack of morality and lust for success that causes their wrongdoing.

It’s important to note that it is very possible the men and women who do evil in the name of religion, science or anything else may not be aware of their own motivation. It’s human nature to deceive ourselves to justify our actions.  Proverbs tells us, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.” The secular world may call this rationalizations or self-serving justifications. Isn’t it interesting that the number of atrocities committed in the world have not dwindled as the number of theocracies have decreased in world governments? Atrocities remain, the justifications change. The Second World War was not fought over religious differences.  Neither was the first.

The Bible tells us humans are flawed.  Science tells us we tend to justify our actions and even deceive ourselves into believing that we are doing good when we are doing quite the opposite. The next time someone brings this up as “proof” that faith causes evil, ask them how they ruled out other causes (lust for power, success in a theocracy in spite of a lack of faith, etc.) and put their answer in the comments below.  I’d like to see what they have to say.

Future of the Blackwood Brothers: Changes for Jonathan Mattingly

Pictured (left to right): Kasey Kemp, Jonathan Mattingly, Billy Blackwood

Blackwood Brothers – Special for Texas Gospel Canada

Nashville, TN (January 11th, 2021) – Few names are as synonymous with Gospel music as Blackwood. For nearly nine decades, generations of Blackwood Brothers have shared the Gospel around the globe, having recorded over 200 albums and toured in 47 countries, earned GRAMMY and Dove Awards, and appeared on countless stages and events.

While honoring the long-standing tradition of this legacy, the Blackwood Brothers have decided to scale back from touring full-time, continuing to play select concerts in 2021 and beyond.

In anticipation of the upcoming changes, lead singer Jonathan Mattingly has announced that he will be joining forces with the up and coming trio, Avenue. Mattingly was first introduced to Gospel music fans with his family, the Mattingly Family, before uniting with the Blackwood Brothers in 2017.

“Jon has been a tremendous blessing to the ministry of the Blackwood Brothers and will continue to be as we move forward. We look forward to working with Kasey and Avenue, coordinating our schedules to allow both groups to utilize the great gift that Jon brings to the platform and the ministry as a whole.

Kasey Kemp shares his excitement for welcoming Jonathan into the Avenue family, “Jon and his wife Sarah have been dear friends of our family for many years, so I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to sing together. We are excited about the future and what God has for us going forward!”

To stay up-to-date on current happenings, follow the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, as well as Avenue on social media, or visit blackwoodbrothers.com and avenuemusic.net.