Christian etiquette

Four questions Christian shouldn’t ask

If you’re a Christian and want to share your faith, there are at least four questions you shouldn’t ask.

John Stackhouse, professor of theology and culture at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. shared them March 17–19 during a three-part Apologetics Lectures series at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg.

“Is he saved?” is the first, Stackhouse said. The reason: Because one can’t know the answer. “I can guess, and I can guess reliably,” Stackhouse said, “but I can’t know for sure because I am not privy to the [inner-workings] of his heart.”

“Does he need to hear the gospel?” The answer, Stackhouse said, is “of course he needs to hear the gospel-everyone does.” For non-believers, hearing the gospel can lead them to salvation, he said. For those who already believe, hearing the gospel is a reminder and reassurance. Christians need to hear the good news at all stages of their lives, he added.

“What can I do to convert him?” The answer, he said, is “nothing.” And not only is there nothing people can do to convert non-believers, there’s nothing people can do to convert themselves, he stated. “There are no surefire, snappy arguments to [make people] become Christian, or to make spiritually dead people alive,” Stackhouse said. “That’s God’s province.”

“How do I treat people?” Again, his answer was simple – love them. “You care for them, you give them whatever good gift you can,” he said, adding it may mean talking about the gospel with them, and it may mean not talking about the gospel with them – it depends on whether they’re open to it or not.

Stackhouse is the author of Humble Apologetics.

—CMU release

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