Deflection as a Response Towards Defending the Faith ?

I ran across an apparent guide to how “enlightened” Christians should respond, when being questioned or receiving criticism, as it relates to the necessity of defending sound doctrines and practises (defending the faith), that are substantiated within God’s Holy Word, when compared with doctrines and practises which are not substantiated within God’s Holy Word. The author indicated that the unjustified criticism or questions of those who do so, is likened to how the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, tried to trick or trap Jesus.

I’m not going to identify the post, because I do not wish to give it any additional exposure, but I will make some observations. I can and will provide a copy of the “guidance” upon request.

When one part of a specific dialogue or subject is focused on, with the other parts being ignored, a distorted picture is often the end result, and such is the case in this particular instance. All criticism is not inherently bad or wrong, and those who question or offer criticism are not necessarily all operating from behind a nafarious motive or deliberately trying to trick or trap you. Jesus, Peter, Paul and others, openly criticized error or unsound doctrines, when they encountered them.

Unsubstantiated generalities and assumptions, in the “enlightened” author’s favour, appeared to be the prevailing norm, within this particular post, with the automatic inference that those who question or criticize, are automatically assumed to be operating in the same spirit, that the Pharisees and teachers of the Law where.

Additional adjectives that are associated with criticism were thrown into the guidance, for good measure, with the inference that those who questioned or criticized, also sought to control, attack or accuse.

But, as the narrative of this post that I read continues, being of the “enlightened” persuasion, those who receive this criticism should display mercy, forgiveness and compassion towards them who question or criticize, so that they also might receive deliverance from bitterness, which is so often the root case of their questioning.

That is what is called deflection, where the inadequacy of one (not able to make a Biblical defence), is attributed, deflected or stated as an inadequacy of the other.

There was not one mention of what was being criticized, not one mention of what doctrine or practise that was being questioned. Just the automatic assumption that the root of the problem for their criticism or questioning stemmed from internal bitterness and they those who are questioned or criticized should pray for those who question or criticize, so that they also might receive wisdom and understanding, that the receivers of the criticism so obviously possess.

The post did however, include one Biblical Scripture, which is being woefully misapplied. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:18-20.

The misguided inference is that because Jesus was hated, and you are being questioned or receiving criticism, you also are being persecuted and should expect this to happen. There is a big difference between not providing a response and being rejected and providing a response and being rejected. They are not one and the same.

Did Jesus use the Word of God to justify what He did and what He said? Continually. Did the Apostles use the Word of God to validate their actions and message? Continually. When you cannot defend your doctrine or practises by the Word of God, would the root cause not be more rightly placed at not adequately knowing the Word of God?

As per the one Biblical Scripture quote in this post that I read, the “saying” that Jesus gave us are stated and defendable. The Biblical “saying” from the originator of this post, other than this misapplied Scripture, are not even mentioned and accordingly not defendable. The “saying” of Jesus are supposed to be our “saying”, which we know and can defend, not a misapplied excuse for not knowing or understanding the Word nor the power of God, as determined by Jesus, when He quoted Scripture when He spoke to the Sadducees (Matthew 22:29).

When questioned or criticized we should be able to Biblically defend the doctrines and practises of Christianity, not label those who question us as being filled with bitterness, or without wisdom or understanding.

A review and Scripture verses to ponder regarding responding to questions or criticism (defending the faith) follows:

gotquestions/defending the faith

Jude 1:3

1 Peter 3:15

Titus 1:9

2 Timothy 2:15

2 Timothy 3:16-17

2 Timothy 4:1-2

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

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