John Cheek talks about finding opportunities to communicate a Christian viewpoint in a public domain.
Before an audience of over 100 people, I was an invited speaker at a public debate in a northern city, and speaking in favour of The Motion, "The Christian Church should reject same sex marriage".
For 15 minutes I gave a spoken-presentation using an in-depth, biblical treatise of the subject, at its broadest level.
The opposing speaker did something similar, but without any reference to scripture.
Now the debate was open to the floor and a lady in the audience was fixing me with a stare. Her turn to contribute came late on.
"The Church hasn't exactly done very well in keeping to the teachings of its Bible, has it? The Church supported apartheid in South Africa for over a century, for example."
She continued the conjecture, as I realised that I would soon have the opportunity to address the audience's contributions. I decided to respond to hers first: "Apartheid was only enshrined in law in 1948 and so the Church didn't support it for over a century: besides, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and..."
"Oh, so you'd call me a liar for the sake of a few years?"
I've had a few, such evenings. I see them as opportunities to communicate a Christian viewpoint, in the public domain. To share truth-as-I-see-it, in 'the marketplace'.
It doesn't matter whether I win the vote. I'm offering reasoned arguments for biblical claims.
Historically, the Church began to be marginalised in the West by The Enlightenment movement, circa late-1700s/early-1800s. The Church, bloated and complacent intellectually, couldn't stand up to the arguments it faced and withdrew into missionary movements, ploughing time and resources into spreading the gospel, globally.
I'm glad that it was successful; back home, it conceded the centre-ground and Darwinism further compounded the impression that Christianity was just antiquated, scientifically-challenged, Dark Age-superstitions.
By the social changes of the 1960s, the Church was increasingly irrelevant.
Dare I suggest we get back to the debating chambers?
As an evangelist, I've been told, "Oh, just preach the gospel to them," by some Christians. I know that many people switch-off from cold-call 'propaganda'.
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