Why Should Christians Defend the Faith?
Christian apologetics is the intellectual and spiritual defense of Biblical truth or the Christian faith. All true Christian believers are called by God to contend for the faith against objections or any heresies that attack the Gospel and Biblical truth.
The Bible commands all Christians to always be prepared or ready to give a defense for the faith.
In 1 Peter 3:15 Peter writes: “… but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you”
Jude 3 says: Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
So the question is: why is it important for Christians to defend the faith? Below are 3 reasons:
1. There are Many Ideologies, Religions & Worldviews which Compete Against Christianity
Since the fall of man, sin brought about many cultures, philosophies and religions which oppose God’s word and God’s original plan for mankind.
We live in a world where unbiblical worldviews such as New Age spirituality, atheism, evolution, law of attraction, pantheism and many other ideologies are on the rise. Simultaneously there has been a rise in many people who are either totally leaving the Christian faith or pursuing counterfeit pseudo-christian cults and religions.
Any worldview that is unbiblical is ultimately birthed from the systems of this world and is thus at enmity with God (James 4:4).
Colossians 2:8 says: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Therefore defending the Christian faith is ultimately necessary in a world where many other worldviews compete and oppose Biblical truths.
2. People Will Perish Because of Lack of Knowledge
A Christian defense of the faith will open the path for people to discover God’s truth instead of believing a lie or following deception. Knowing the truth ultimately leads to freedom. Jesus said that we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:32).
Proverbs 23:23 says: Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
People can be deceived and ultimately perish if the truth is not defended when deception is propagated. Therefore Christians must defend the faith with the motive of desiring to see people saved from facing eternal punishment due to ignorance or lack of knowledge.
Jude 22-23 says: And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Therefore defending the Christian faith must be an act of love and mercy to save those people who have been deceived by different kinds of heresies, ideologies and false teachers.
3. Defending the Faith is Necessary to Expose False Gospels & False Teachers
Many of the letters or scriptures in the Bible were written primarily to defend the Christian faith against false gospels which had crept into the Church. For example letters such as Galatians, Colossians, Jude, 2 Peter were written to combat heresies which were spreading in the Church.
In Jude 3-4 says that we must “contend for the faith” because of “certain people have crept in unnoticed… ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Therefore defending the faith matters because it is necessary to expose different types of false teachers as their teachings ultimately oppose the Biblical nature and character of Jesus Christ and the finished work He completed on the cross.
Furthermore, there are many other dangers which are associated with false doctrines and teachings.
One the characteristics of a false gospel is that a counterfeit gospel does not spiritually save and it ultimately gives no glory to the Person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Examples of false gospels include universalism, antinomianism, the health & wealth / prosperity gospel, the Word of Faith theology, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) doctrines, Seven Mountain Mandate, salvation through works and many others.
Therefore defending the faith is necessary because a false gospel creates false converts, which ultimately leads deceived followers to eternal punishment.
In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul writes: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
Christian apologetics must ultimately have the purpose of pointing people to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Every person regardless of their present belief system needs to hear the true Gospel.
Defending the Christian faith should be more than just an intellectual debate or argument – but instead apologetics must have the purpose of leading people to a real and personal God and Saviour who died on the cross in order to save mankind from his sins and from suffering the consequences of living in rebellion against God.
Defending the Christian faith is the duty of every Bible believing Christian. Apologetics is necessary because it is encouraged by the Scriptures to both defend Christianity from heretics, and also to educate those who are spiritually lost.