We don’t have to argue with our friends over spiritual issues. At least, that was the point of the first two principles of what we called, the IF Strategy. It suggests not trying to force someone, who doesn’t have faith in Christ, to accept a passage of Scripture as truth. Instead, by securing their agreement that a logical conclusion can be made about something the Bible says, IF it’s true, we help them come much closer to the truth than most arguments ever could.
For instance, the Bible says all have sinned. IF that’s true, anyone can rightly conclude, even if the idea is repugnant to them, that they are part of the ‘all’ in that biblical statement. When that happens, it’s time to make sure we’re majoring on Principal #3: Let Gentleness Rule!
When someone recognizes at a deep level, the potential truth of something diametrically opposed to all they believe, it is not uncommon to feel threatened, and people backed against a theological wall, can be prone to lash out at anyone nearby. Knowing this, we need to maintain the calming effects of love, such as gentleness and respect.
That is how we are to love our neighbor. That was how Christ could say from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”
When you use the IF Strategy, an exciting thing happens. Someone, much better equipped to convince your friend, may continue the conversation with them long after you’ve stopped. Who is it? We’ll give you the surprising and powerful answer in Part 3.