“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” – Jude 3 ESV
The book of Jude is small (only 25 verses) but powerful. He was the half-brother of Jesus Christ, and in part of his letter he challenges us to “contend and struggle” to defend the Faith. To “defend” means to give a logical, well-thought-out answer and factual explanation for why we believe the Bible. There is a substantial onslaught of attacks on the whole doctrine (teaching) of Christianity including both Old and New Testaments. Like Jude, I would rather simply confirm our “common salvation” but there is a great need for Christ followers to “earnestly contend” for our Faith. I capitalized Faith for when it is capitalized it is referencing all of the Scriptures and not just our personal faith.
Just recently Bernie Sanders went on a tirade against Russell Vought, the nominee to be deputy director to the White House Office of Management and Budget. His attack was against the Biblical Doctrine that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. (John 14:6 and 1 Timothy 2:5)
You can find the article in TODD STARNES, “Sanders attacks Trump pick over Christian faith.”
People in our ministry are commenting about Sanders and Voughts’ dialogue and are asking for some clarification. Here are six of my responses. I suggest you attempt to speak up with answers as you communicate your comments to people in your life. Feel free to past my answers on to others.
- Sanders seems to be making the assumption that only people of no faith, secular minded, agnostics, or atheists can serve in public office without bias. Wow, what a prejudicial, judgmental assumption that lacks diversity!
- Every person trusts something or someone for what will happen after they die. For an atheist they trust themselves, for a Hindu they trust that their good works will out-weigh their bad behaviors. For a Muslim, the only assurance of going to Paradise is through fighting for the cause of spreading Islam (Jihad), and being a martyr in the process (Surah 3:157).
- If the person were a Muslim, would Sanders complain or attack them? The answer is obvious. He would be terrified for his life to do such a thing.
- The three major monotheist religions are Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Each is theologically (what they believe and teach about God) very “intolerant” or exclusive. For example: Jews do not believe that Christ is the Messiah. Islam teaches that Jesus is not God for they deny the Trinity, and Christianity believes that Jesus Christ is both God and part the the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Spirit. Each believes they are correct and they are not about to change their views. Each one of these religions will not (nor should they) compromise their core beliefs. Christianity, however, is sociologically very tolerant while Judaism and Islam are very intolerant. For example: As a Christian I cannot go to Israel and start a church. If I were to wear a cross around my neck in Saudi Arabia, I would be put in jail. Yet our Founding Fathers, who based America on the Judeo-Christian ethic, believed in the free expression of all religions and allowed other religions to flourish in America as long as all religions were allowed the same freedoms of expression. Thus, we have 1,000’s of Mosques and Synagogues in America and not one public Christian Church in Muslim Countries or in Israel started by people outside of their countries. The irony now is that Christianity is not allow to be expressed in the public square and especially in our schools while Islam is given overt freedoms.
- Christianity is sociologically tolerant as is evidenced in Bernie Sanders’ outlandish comments and him not suffering from oppression, recrimination, or persecution. Let him ask those antagonistic questions to a Muslim Cleric in Iran and see what happens. My oh my, how we take our freedoms for granted.
- The comments from Sanders reveal how massively ignorant and biased this man is in regard to American history and the differences between the practices of Christianity and the two other Monotheistic Religions.
The defense of the Good News of the Kingdom of God is no indifferent matter left to a few specialists, but one to which all believers should be trained and committed.
As I say to every one of my men’s groups, “Let’s pick it up a notch!”