Understanding the questions key to sharing faith – Michael Ramsden
Christians are falling into traps and failing to share their faith effectively as they do not fully understand the questions non-Christians are asking them.
So says Christian apologist and Regional Director of RZIM for Europe, Michael Ramsden, in the opening talk of the first Catalyst Live event in Manchester hosted by BMS World Mission.
In a talk on conversational apologetics, Ramsden said that we as Christians need to comprehend when people ask us questions about faith what they mean by the question, what is the motive and agenda behind the question. He gave examples of when questions of false logic were thrown to trick Jesus, as in when he was asked whether Jews should pay taxes or not. Jesus understood it was a trap, saw the motive behind the question and separated the answers – ‘give to Caesar what is Caesars and give to God what is God’s.’ Ramsden said that Christians don’t do this and therefore fail to answer the questions of seekers well.
“The only way is to separate the two issues,” Ramsden said. “Christians walk into these traps all the time and then say they are being persecuted. There is a difference between being persecuted for the gospel and being persecuted for being stupid. They are not the same.”
He also said that often when people ask us why we became Christians, we say how we became Christians, which could put people off.
“If a non-Christian is asking why and you describe a process, how will it sound to that non-Christian? It will sound random and may come across as if you have been brain-washed.”
In a 25 minute talk peppered with amusing anecdotes and illustrations, Ramsden laid out a biblical and effective approach to sharing one’s faith honestly and with confidence.