Excuses For Not Supporting Religious Debates

It is a shame that many preachers are not willing to defend publicly what they teach publicly. In this regard, they are nothing like the first century disciples (Acts 19:8-10, 15:2,7, 17:17, etc.). And because they don’t have the courage themselves, they have taken the route of criticizing debates to save face. And what’s even more sad is that most “lay” Christians have swallowed such slanders against Jesus (Matt 22:15ff) hook, line, and sinker. Just what are some of the excuses made for not supporting religious debates? …

“They don’t do any good.” Some say the same thing about the Lord’s Supper, but I would be afraid to say such about anything God reveals approval for. Either we believe Isaiah 55:8-9 or we don’t.

“I don’t like conflict.” Well, some people are scared of water, but that doesn’t excuse them from getting baptized, does it? Whenever we try to persuade someone of the truth (II Cor 5:11), regardless of what the format is (public or private), unless they already agree with everything we say, there is going to be conflict. That is the nature of contending for the faith (Jude 3) – public or private.

“Some debaters act up in debates.” The same is true about some preachers when doing sermons, but we don’t throw out the baby (all sermons) with the bath water, do we? Both debaters and preachers need to learn to be kind in their presentations (Eph 4:32). Let’s encourage that instead of discouraging debating or preaching.

We can’t let God decide what is best in some things and not in other things (Prov 14:12). I am convinced that most who don’t like public religious debating are that way because they know their position can’t be defended. Isn’t that what John 3:19-21 is saying?

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