I am noticing when witnessing that I often meet people on the street who want to argue against Christianity on the basis of what the media is saying about some professing Christians who give Christ a bad name through their sinful actions. Since most of us will probably encounter this I thought I might give some thoughts on how to respond. Here is a conversation I recently had:
Cameron: Have you got one of these? It's a Christian tract I've made for you.
Middle Aged Woman: I don't want anything to do with Christianity especially after seeing what happened with High Profile Christian Hypocrite (HPCH).
Cameron: I completely understand how angry you must feel. If what the media says about HPCH is true then it makes me very angry too. What makes me most angry is that people who say they are Christians and do things like that totally misrepresent Who God is, what He is like, and how He calls Christians to live. People who say they are Christians and do these terrible things are called hypocrites because they are nothing like Jesus when He walked on this planet.
Middle Aged Woman: I just don't see a reason to be a Christian. I know people who go to church every sunday and live sinful lives and I know people who are atheists and are very good people.
Cameron: Would you call yourself a good person? . . . .
Points to note:
1. It's good to agree on things you can agree on. When someone points out the bad things people do in God's Name agree with them.
2. Avoid making false accusations. This is why I prefixed one of my comments with the following disclaimer "If what the media said is true".
3. Contrast God's character and nature with the hypocrites who blaspheme His name.
4. Understand that the person you are talking to will have to answer for themselves on judgment day regardless of all the bad things other people do so try and steer the conversation away from the outside world and back to a personal focus.
5. Always remember that most of the tough questions people ask come from a wrong view of man's sinfulness and a wrong view of God's Holiness which is why we must open up God's moral law to bring the knowledge of sin (To see my earlier articles on preaching God's law click on these links Part 1 Part 2 Part 3).
Here's a video of me witnessing to someone: