Defense Is Not Enough, Christians Must Engage In Offence To Get The Truth Out That Sets People Free

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   4/15/2012

The Bible is arrayed with examples of leaders who played offense confidently: Moses approached Pharaoh and spoke God's terms unapologetically; Solomon harbored the world's audience and shared his wisdom without reserve; and John the Baptist was not afraid of deflecting culture and speaking the truth boldly, even to those who had the power to kill him.

An offensive leader takes a stand aggressively. Instead of playing defense and responding to opposing views as they come, an offensive leader is prepared to take the lead.

An offensive leader would be more likely to initiate a discussion on their stand rather than wait around to defend it.

Perhaps my favorite Biblical example of an offensive leader is King David. Why? Because though he was strong and revered, he was also humble and kind. He was devoted to God in a way that compelled him to operate decisively and with grace. This offensive yet compassionate approach is what Jim Daly, CEO of Focus on the Family, says Christian leaders need to take, according to Stephanie Samuel of the Christian Post.

Daly specifically referred to taking the offensive approach on unlikable stands like abortion and traditional marriage. They're not as captivating as other Biblical discussions, he said, and are often called "hateful" and "bigoted." But calling Christians names and twisting their words is nothing new, "All day long they twist my words" - Psalm 56:1

We Have The Advantage

Christian leaders have an advantage they can be confident in. That advantage is lasting truth. "When we talk about the debate on life let those who see a pro-choice perspective or an abortion perspective as the way, let them defend that. I say the better choice is life," Daly said.

Daly said that since Christians have truth on their side, they should have confidence when standing on a Bible-based position like marriage between one man and one woman. "God's church for 2,000 years has held strong," Daly said. "I have great confidence I think research over the long haul will prove that marriage between a biological mom and dad is the gold standard... No matter what the culture tries to say, when they measure it, kids do better with a mom and a dad."

Daly stated during a Focus on the Family radio broadcast at the end of March that when he is engaged in a discussion with someone who opposes his view of marriage, he calmly states that he is simply being a Christian following Biblical principles. One of opposition should not be angry at him. Instead, take the case up with the God, who has defined and defended marriage the past 6,000 years. Stating such a view is playing offense.

Instead of timidly defending one's position with mute points, we can more confidently point to the source of our convictions. One cannot fight against an individual when his beliefs are based on something much bigger than himself.

Truthfully, when society questions marriage, they are really questioning whose laws they will follow. Some feel comfortable making their own standards regarding marriage and morality. This philosophy brings to mind the classic novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, which illustrates what happens when we are left to make up our own rules: total destruction. Christians, on the other hand, can point to a sound source for their moral standard: the Bible. Its commands have held strong across many centuries and varied cultures.

They continue to give life to those who follow them today. Daly insisted that though Christians have Truth to their advantage, they must operate with grace and love amid the debates. In fact, Focus on the Family has sponsored a "Day of Dialogue" on April 19.

This movement challenges high school and college students to express Biblical truth-- specifically about marriage and bullying-- the way Jesus Christ would. On this day, the offensive will be played: compassionate open dialogue instead of silence. "The Day of Dialogue gives you, as a student, the opportunity to express the true model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible—who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His incredible, compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people," the website stated.

We are called to be bold yet loving, confident yet humble. Three-thousand years ago, King David demonstrated these components well. His life is told in 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles. For example, after David finally took the throne, he heard of a lame man named Mephibosheth who was a relative of former King Saul, David's enemy. When David summoned him, Mephibosheth's response was, "What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?" Yet David insisted, "he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons."

David's humbleness amid his leadership was displayed when he was taunted by a seemingly enemy Shimei, who threw stones at David and cursed him continually. When David was asked by one of his defenders if he should take care of the man, David said no. He rested in the fact that God was sovereign, even over his enemies. Although he could have retaliated, he did not. Later, when Shimei begged for David's forgiveness, David vowed that he would spare Shimei's life. He kept this promise, later handing over the matter to his son, Solomon.  

In another instance, when King David had the opportunity to kill his greatest offender, King Saul, he refused, insisting that God was the authority regarding Saul's life, not him. David's strong passion for the Lord offended some, including his wife. But his compassion made him so well-liked, that even when his son overtook the kingdom, hundreds of people left their homes and wandered into the desert to follow David instead.

Like David, we will face opposition when we take a stand. Our response to opposition is as much of a testimony as the voice of our stand. People are watching and may be expecting retaliation. Exhibiting God's strength and grace amid opposition is not only Biblical-- it's unusual. Dare to take a stand and do it God's way. Others may listen more closely to your voice once they see your spirit.

We may fear opposition and shake with trepidation when one spouts words against us, but we need not. As Matthew 10 says, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Not only should we be confident when we take a stand on the Truth; we should also be confident that God is more powerful than any opposition we may face.

Writer's note: More information and an opportunity to commit to the "Day of Dialogue" is available at www.dayofdialogue.com

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