Apologetics used to combat secularism, prove Christianity

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Today, society faces division over racism, the threat of terrorism, laws, politics and other issues, but one pastor in the area believes society’s problems result from secularism, godlessness and a lack of morality.

Christian apologetics can change society’s outlook by using reason and evidence to answers questions and doubt that many people have about Christianity, according to Pastor Joel Cannon of Smyrna Free Will Baptist Church in Blounts Creek. Through changing society’s worldview, which omits God, to that of a Christian worldview, many of these problems can be resolved, which is very important, according to Cannon’s outlook.

“Everyone is talking about what law we can pass to solve our problems,” Cannon said. “But once you do away with the concept of God, what do you have? You have a society like Nazi Germany. They were trying to eliminate God out of society, and that’s what we’re doing today.”

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basis of the Christian faith, and using evidence and logic to defend it is vital to changing the worldview of society, according to Cannon. Despite Christian doctrines and disagreements, all Christians can agree on the essentials; that Jesus came to Earth, died on the cross, and through his sacrifice, the world has a chance at salvation, Cannon said.

“If we’re divided, we fall, so we have to come back to the point where we agree on this, but we’re going to love each other and have respect for each other at the end of the day,” Cannon said. “I think God is moving us into a realm of the culture where we have to be able to defend what we believe,” Cannon said. “If not, we’re dead in the water.”

Cannon said Christians today can defend their faith through apologetics because it gives people the ability to argue why they believe, rather than just by faith and the Bible.

Cannon cites the work of Dr. Frank Turek in his sermons and getting the concept across to other Christians. Turek, an award-winning author, speaker and president of CrossExamined.org, presents evidence for Christianity and is a leading apologetics expert and cultural commentator.

Christian Apologetics can be summarized into two parts: objective reasons and evidence that Christianity is true; and communication of that truth to the world, Cannon said from researching Turek’s work. The first mention of apologetics in the Bible appears in 1 Peter 3:15 where the Apostle Peter addressed early Christians in Asia Minor, a Roman province, who were suffering persecution because of their faith in Christ.

Apologetics finds objective evidence of Christianity as truth through several examples, mainly historical evidence and texts such as the Jewish Talmud recorded during the time of Jesus, according to Cannon.

Cannon said it helps build bridges to unbelievers by presenting reasoning and evidence that the faith is true, rational and worthy of belief and allows an alternative worldview to that which is asserted by culture. It aims to show how the Christian faith can provide meaningful answers to questions raised by culture and society, according to Cannon.

“A lot of people would like to say there is no God,” Cannon said. “That’s what secular humanism is teaching; that your happiness and joy and fulfillment depend on you and you alone, without God. We need to learn apologetics so we can combat the cultural ideologies that are espoused to us. We’re being told that we are God, and we don’t need God, and we make our own rules and moralities so then we can make our own laws.”

Cannon said secular humanism devalues life and causes division, and in today’s culture, Christians can no longer depend on a heart for God and faith in order to help change the world. Christians must gain knowledge of the Christian faith and how to defend it not only through Biblical scripture, but through historical texts, logic and reason and evidence, Cannon said.

“There is enough information out there that show the Biblical writers and stories were accurate,” Cannon said. “You just have to dig for it. When you find it, that’s what it’s supposed to be about. When you study apologetics, it gives you enough information out there to believe and strengthen your faith.”