When I was teaching at our Missionary Training Center in Missouri, a group of us would get together once a week for “Caffeinated Conversation.” We had a policy: BYOC—Bring Your Own Coffee! We enjoyed discussing such things as hot button theological topics or problem passages in scripture. I missed those discussions after moving to Florida. So I asked a couple of guys here if they would want to do something similar. They did and we meet once a week for “Caffeinated Conversation” but usually without any coffee.
Last week’s discussion focused on how to present a controversial topic without losing your audience. Recently, I was asked to speak on a much debated subject pertaining to a proper understanding of the gospel. There are strong feelings on both sides of the debate and I am pretty sure that both views will be represented in the audience that I will be addressing. I’m also sure that many have never even thought about the topic. Given a situation like this, my tendency is to simply “tell it like it is” and “let the chips fall where they may.” But as we discussed the topic, I kept asking myself, “Do you want to win a debate, or persuade the hearts and minds to consider the truths of God’s Word?”
Years ago, I was given a few words of advice from a mentor of mine in my early Christian days. Borrowing Jesus’ admonition to His disciples, he said that in certain situations, you need to be wise as a serpent yet harmless as a dove.
I would appreciate your prayers on my behalf as I prepare for this message. I definitely need wisdom in how to be both wise and harmless.
I am also kept busy teaching at Sanford Bible Church. We have several men who teach God’s Word there so I do not shoulder the responsibility all by myself. I love the plurality aspect of the ministry there.
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True faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.