Contender Ministries

Posted:  May 20, 2002


Some people may ask, “Why do you feel it necessary to point out the errors of other religious thoughts?”  Some may even go so far as to accuse us of “attacking” other religions.  I feel it’s important to give an answer as to why we feature an apologetics section. 

The mission of Contender Ministries is to follow the words of Jude, who in verses 3 and 4 of his letter says this: “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.  For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.  They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ, our only Sovereign and Lord.”  Satan has long played a cunning game of deceiving decent people with his lies.  He started in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve that if she ate of the forbidden fruit, her “eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  He has been very busy ever since, and his lies have been very effective.  Why?

Have you heard about the frog and the boiling water?  As the analogy goes, if a frog is dropped into a pot of boiling water, he will promptly jump out.  However, if that same frog is placed in a pot of cool water, and that water is gradually heated to its boiling point, that frog will stay in there until it dies.  It does not detect the slight, progressive change in temperature.  In that same way, Satan’s most effective lies are subtle.  They take advantage of human weaknesses, and using noble thoughts and ideas, seduce people into a system that turns out to be as evil as Satan himself.  If people knew what they were getting into ahead of time, most wouldn’t make that step.  If Satan were all that popular, you’d see a lot more people who openly identify themselves as Satanists.  No, Satan seduces people with subtle lies, wrapped in noble and attractive packages.  Once deceived, it is often very difficult for people to see that they’re actually neck-deep in a pot of water that is being brought to a rolling boil. 

Jude has called us to contend for our faith.  Jesus called us to be “fishers of men”.  What does this mean?  It means that we don’t sit comfortably and watch non-believers slide down a slippery slope to hell.  It means we confront the lies of the evil one wherever we see them.  Jesus has called on us to love all our fellow planet-mates.  Love means that we must rescue them if they need it.  Would you calmly stand with your arms crossed and watch a loved one drown in the sea?  NO!  You would throw them a floatation device, or do anything else you could to save them.  What if they don’t want to be saved?  Remember our friend, the frog?  He didn’t realize he was in danger.  He may even resent the human hand grasping him around his plump, green midsection.  Now transfer that image to your drowning friend.  Do you love him or her?  Then you must save them from their impending doom, whether they want you to or not. 

Now I know this is a simplification, and not ENTIRELY analogous.  As Christians, we are powerless to change the heart of another person.  We can’t body slam someone into the body of Christ.  What we can do, and are absolutely obligated to do, is to let them know that they’re in a pot of water that will be boiling before long.  Explain to them the truth.  Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  That statement summarizes the truth of salvation.  Explain this truth to your friends.  Let them know the pot will get hot, and the truth is not on the stove at all!  But as we do so, we must let the love of our Lord Jesus Christ show through us.  We must NOT be arrogant, spiteful, or ignorant in our efforts to convey the truth.  We must let His love show through us.  This is especially important, as we are powerless to change people’s hearts.  That action is done through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  If we do not let the Holy Spirit shine through us, we have hardened our friends’ hearts toward Him. 

Apologetics has been described as a small field.  The truth – the saving knowledge and acceptance of Jesus Christ is a garden in the middle of this field.  We cannot grab our unbelieving friends by the scruff of the neck and drag them to the garden – it simply does not work that way.  What we do when we evangelize is to lovingly point out the garden, and show our friends the path to get there.  At that point, it is up to the Holy Spirit.  As an apologist, you must know where the garden is.  That is, you must know the TRUTH, as presented in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  You must also see the field, and the holes, pits, ditches, and thorn snags in it.  If you can see the garden, and you can see the hazards of the field, you can then lovingly direct people to the path.  In other words, you must be firmly grounded in the truths of scripture – there is no substitute for daily digestion of the Word.  You must also be aware of the pitfalls – the lies and traps Satan has set for people.  If you can do this, you are an apologist – a contender. 

We do not do this to be mean.  I don’t deny that the truth can hurt at times.  But it is imperative that we share the truth with all, and do so with love.  Every cult and religious movement we profile has set itself apart from the truth.  It is incumbent upon us therefore, to take up the sword (the Word of God) and contend for the faith – to expose the lies of Satan.  There’s not much time left, and there are a lot of souls still wandering around the field.  Won’t you join us?  Won’t you be contenders?


Contender Ministries