Are You Listening? Part 2:

Yesterday as I replaced some broken light switches at home, I continued listening to God’s Word on my Bible App. In Philippians, these words caught my ear … Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. Philippians 4:5  Those words come in the context of Paul trying to resolve a conflict between two believing women (Euodia and Syntyche). Both had labored beside Paul in his Gospel work … but now something had come between them. He pleads with them to agree in the Lord … to be like-minded. It’s sad, but far too common, genuine believers to divide over misunderstandings or slights and forget the central and unifying truth of the Gospel. That happens in the Church of Jesus Christ … but we can also loose sight of the centrality of the Gospel when communicating with unbelievers.

That’s where my mind went immediately when I heard, Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. I thought instantly of all the unreasonableness that I’ve witnessed in social media. We probably should call it what it has become … antisocial media. I’m still shocked at the amount of defamation and name-calling that makes it into “journalism.” More jarring is the way people approach the propagation of their Christian worldview. I have watched quite a few videos of Christian apologists and I can’t believe the titles:

  • “Ravi owns socialist snowflake.”
  • “Panelist destroys libtard”
  • “Apologist eviscerates atheist”

I could … but I won’t go on. The fault seldom lies with the speakers, but those who repost video-bites that resonate with their beliefs. I can’t imagine the ever-calm gentlemen, Ravi Zacharias, walking off the stage chuckling, “I owned that girl.” It’s true, Ravi has revealed the foolish reasoning of many a person, but I have never seen him try to “make of fool” of anyone! He always argued from love toward Jesus Christ and the Gospel. That last one really gets me … “Apologist disembowels atheist.” That’s what the word “eviscerate” really means. Are we out to destroy people? Is that what Christ has called us to? Or did He come that they might not face destruction?

We must argue with the world about the timeless truths of God’s Words. To do less would be unloving … but we cannot stoop to the tactics of the world. Whatever unbelievers think of our beliefs, whatever they say to us or about us, Christians should be known for their reasonableness by everyone.

I have underlined the word translated “reasonableness” in three other scriptures to help fill out the meaning. Also note the words by which it’s surrounded and the attitude to which we are called as followers of Christ:

1 Timothy 3:2–3 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Titus 3:1–2 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

(Part 1 of “Are You Listening?” was aired Friday as a video on Facebook and YouTube.)