It really us frustrating when someone just doesn’t understand the need or reasons for apologetics. Most of the time its out of ignorance, I know, but that doesn’t give me much reprieve from the agony of realizing what a task that lies before us. To have people (Christian people) look at you like you have a horn growing out of your head when you try to explain why we need to teach people arguments to defend, oh I don’t know, the existence of God for example. “Well”, they say, ” I don’t need to do that. They just need to believe”, or ” preachers need to do a better job”. Uuuuugh!
I live in the Bible Belt. Oh how I hate to say it. I used to be proud of that label, but after I hear it repeated by folks from other parts of the country, apologists and theologians, I begin to see it in a different light. Calling us the Bible Belt is not necessarily a good thing. It could mean, an area of the country where Christians stand strong in their faith, immovable. Or, it could mean, a place in the country where people are hard headed about their faith and not open to anything that their “preacher” or their “daddy” didn’t teach them. Anything new is, well, “ub da debil!” I am leaning more towards the latter.
People in these areas are faithful, in a sense. They go to church. They give. They say grace. Like Hank Jr. said, “we say grace, we say mam, and if you aint into that we don’t give a …” That sums it up pretty well. That’s who I have to convince that they, and their children need apologetics. Shew doggies!
Well, thats the pessimistic side of it. Heres the optimistic side, the side that makes me want to change my culture (Southern, Bible Belt) towards apologetics and theology. The people I’m describing are the kind of people who would charge hell with a bucket of water. They’d fight! They’d fuss! They are some of the most committed people about their faith that you will ever find. To them, their faith is not merely what they believe but it is who they are and what they’re made of. If you want to see a good fight or some shooting where I come from, just get two brothers to discuss some disagreement about Scripture, back up and take cover. That sounds funny, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Good people, who would give you the shirt off their back, might come to blows, or even worse, if you mess with their faith. This is not sounding much like optimism right now.
The point though is this. If people this committed to defending their faith can be shown what that actually should look like, then they could be the most committed folks you’d ever meet. They would be the one you’d want to see next to you in the fox hole. They will give. They will go. They will pray for grace. I’d like to flip them. I’d like to move them to an active, not violent, but active faith. Who better to tell the world why Christianity is true than someone who is FULLY COMMITTED!
For now, I must remain positive, patient, and we will preserver. I will slowly explain apologetics and teach them and in turn they will teach me to stand in the face of adversity. I love my people. I only want them to truly love Christ in a way they have never been able to before.