POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

An Apologist must be Compassionate

In today's world Apologetics should never just be about a "nanny nanny boo-boo, I'm smarter than you" kind of trip. Oh, I can refute all the XYZ people who believe in XYZ. This is not the ethos of Jesus, this is not the way of the Apologist. Above all else an apologist for the faith must see himself as a compassionate follower of Jesus in mission with Him in this world. To be real blunt, if you do not care about the souls of others, that they really come to know Jesus, you should not speak for Him, and you may not belong to the Lord. So often we just don't care about people - we don't give a rip whether they know Christ or not and we just continue our lives chasing pride, position and possessions without turning an eye to those separated from life and redemption and hope and truth and peace with God in Christ. Jesus looked out upon the ancient city of Jerusalem and something welled up within his being:
35And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
The apologist today must ask herself the following questions:
  1. Do you view yourself as one sent by Jesus into the world, throughout your city and village proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom?
  2. When you see a world filled with idols and pain and brokenness and loneliness and sin do you care? Do you care that people are living without the shepherd they desperately need.
  3. Do you pray that God would bring in his people through his church?
If we have no compassion, if the "world" just pisses you off so that you don't want to be around "icky people" - if we do not find a desire that they know Christ we need to repent and ask God to change our view of Apologetics. If we do not care we will not change our life patterns to be around people who need the truth of Jesus. If we do not care we will not be inconvienced in associating with different people. If we do not care we will not engage with others or live life around those who need Christ. Compassion and Conviction move to action - once the desire is birthed in us by the Spirit of the living God, we will want to engage, defend the faith, love people to Jesus, answer people's questions as we walk a road with them. Once our heart is broken over our sin, the sins of the world, the wasteland of this earth - only then are we ready to walk into it with service and love incarnated which will give so much more meaning to our proclamation of truth. I confess there have been days when I was more concerned with being right than caring about someone's soul - I repent. I ask you to as well. From there ask God for new eyes, new eyes to see the fields around you - though they be full of sin and people in flight from God - the compassion of Jesus abounds and the Grace of God obtains salvation to those he calls to faith. Compassion is not sufficient for an apologist, but it is necessary and a starting point for the journey. Next one must be curious enough to connect and compelled enough to stay the course. To these, the curious apologist and the compelled apologist, we roll out in the coming days .