Recently, I saw a magazine cover featuring one of the more conservative “reality” TV stars with “Defending Our Faith” as the headline.
I’ll be honest, when I first saw it, I threw up in my mouth a little. Why? Because I’ve never really understood the whole “defend your faith” thing.
I mean, on a base level I get it. We should always “be prepared to give a reason for the hope you have.”
However, it is my considered opinion that there is a big difference between defending ones faith and simply explaining why you believe a certain way.
When I see headlines reading “defending our faith”, I always make a stereotypical judgment that the person holds beliefs that don’t really mesh well with the way of Jesus and therefore have to go out of their way to justify their particular beliefs. Generally, folks who feel the need to defend their faith do so because of their various “isms” and “phobias”.
I’m convinced that if we are truly following the way of Jesus, you know…loving God, loving neighbor, feeding the hungry, meeting the needs of the least/last/lost/poor among us…a defense of our faith would not be necessary. An explanation? Maybe. But, a defense? Probably not.
Maybe those who feel a need to “defend their faith” have simply lost focus. Maybe instead of focusing on what we stand for as followers of Jesus, they are consumed with what they stand against. Maybe instead of focusing energies on meeting the basic, essential needs of those in our community and world, they are focused on issues that are more political in nature. Maybe instead of realizing that they could be wrong, they are so convinced that they are “right” that they can’t imagine an alternative. Maybe they are unsure of being “right” and so they are aggressive in defending their faith as an attempt to convince themselves. Who knows?
All I know is that I’m more interested in living my faith than having to defend it.