Fight For What You Believe

The 260 Journey
The 260 Journey
Fight For What You Believe

Day 238

Today’s Reading: Jude

There’s an old saying, “The question is not if we will defend the Christian faith, but how well.” Such a true statement. And today’s reading in Jude, though it’s only one chapter, comes out swinging with it. Jude tells believers he wants to instruct them about this incredible salvation they enjoy together but then goes into fighter mode:

Dearly loved friend, I was fully intending to write to you about our amazing salvation we all participate in, but felt the need instead to challenge you to vigorously defend and contend for the beliefs that we cherish. (TPT)

The New American Standard Bible says, “to contend earnestly for the faith.” These are important words for our children and us today as we live in a society where our religion, values, and beliefs are under attack. And we are enjoined by Jude not to sit back while this happens but to contend and defend.

Now the big question: how?

First, let’s deal with what. What kind of culture are we facing? What is the fight we are fighting? Here are two very important words about the culture we live in—relativism and pluralism. Relativism in morals and pluralism in beliefs. What does that mean?

Relativism means everyone’s truth is equal. Personal preference trumps everything else. We hear phrases like my truth. Subjectivity trumps objective truth, and the individual and their “truth” is exalted over God.

Pluralism means all religions are equal, so no one religion stands above another. There is no thought of examining a religion’s validity. They are all equal—“whatever works for you.” The enemy is Jesus’ words that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Vince Vitale explained our pluralistic and relativistic culture like this:

“Imagine being thrown into a game without knowing when it started, when it will finish, what the objective of the game is, or what the rules are. What would you do? You’d probably ask the other players around you to answer those four questions for you.

What if they responded with many different answers? Or what if they simply carried on playing, uninterested in your questions? . . .

“Next, you look to a coach for help, but what if the coach was standing there, looking at the chaos, and yelling, “Great job, guys! You’re all doing great! Keep going! We’ve got a first-place trophy waiting for all of you!”

“Finally, you would turn to the referee or umpire for definitive answers to your questions. But what if the players had gotten frustrated with the referee’s calls and sent him home?

And now imagine the conversations about the game on the drive home. They would be completely meaningless.”

Rules and standards make the game meaningful and objective. But we are not in a game. When we live in a pluralistic culture, this is our reality. No wonder many people struggle to live a meaningful life! According to Vince Vitale, living in a pluralistic society means that we lose the answers to these four crucial questions:

• Origin—Where did I come from?

• Meaning—Why am I here?

• Morality—How should I live?

• Destiny—Where am I headed?

So how are we to deal with this? I think the greatest way to contend for the faith is by constantly studying the authentic and the real. As Peter Kreeft brilliantly reminds us: “The more important a thing is the more counterfeits there are. There are no counterfeit paperclips or pencils, but plenty of counterfeit religions.”

Think about Kreeft’s words and the counterfeits that are sold on the streets of major cities. There are no counterfeit Timex watches, but Rolex watches. There are no counterfeit Bic pens but Montblanc pens. There are no counterfeit Target brands on the street, only Gucci, Coach, and Prada. Why? You counterfeit the expensive. And nothing gets counterfeited more than religion.

So how do we fight against counterfeits? My wife worked in the banking world for many years. In that world counterfeit money is obviously the enemy. How do they spot counterfeits?

When a bank teller is trained, they see nothing but the original 24/7. They become familiar with the markings, the feel, the smells of the real thing. Tellers never see counterfeits. Why? Because when you are familiar with the real thing, the phony is much easier to spot.

The same is true for us. We must become familiar with the real thing. The best way to defend the truth, the best way to contend for our faith, is to know the real faith and the truth. Is that enough?

Charles Spurgeon said this:

“Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion. . . . There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them . . . that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself. . . . And the best “apology” for the gospel is to let the gospel out. . . . Preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. Let the Lion out, and see who will dare to approach him. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will soon drive away his adversaries.”

God can defend Himself. So let us present the self-revealed God as He revealed Himself—not the twenty-first-century God, but the eternal, never-changing God.