Fast Facts is a weekly email program where we provide our readers with relevant and practical resources to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and to be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15). We trust that these quick and helpful tools will give you greater confidence in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ.

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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Responding to Those Who Leave the Faith

  • This week the Christian community heard the sad news of another public figure who has chosen to walk away from their faith in Jesus Christ. How should believers respond to stories like these?  How should we respond to people we know personally who abandon their faith?
  • Our first response should always be prayer. We should pray for the individual who has left the faith, we should pray for those who know and love them, and we should pray that God would be glorified no matter our hurt or confusion.
  • Our second response should be to offer our presence. Many people will feel the initial reaction of wanting to argue or persuade the individual to turn back to their faith. This is a normal response, however, before we deal with someone’s doubts or disappointments we need to assure them of our love and commitment to them.
  • Our third response should be to seek God’s peace. We need to remember that God is sovereign and is working in all situations to bring about his good and perfect plan. We might not always understand his ways, but when we lean on him by faith, we can experience his perfect peace.
  • Our fourth response should be patience. As we trust in God’s will and plans by faith, we need to exercise patience, even though we long to see our friend or loved one’s faith restored. God’s timing is always perfect and we need to remember that Jesus is the good shepherd who loves all of his wayward sheep. He will not give up on them.
  • Our fifth response should be to proclaim. As we pray, love, and trust in the midst of our relationship with those who’ve abandoned their faith, we must repeatedly affirm and share the truths and promises of God with them. We especially need to highlight the beauty of the gospel and God’s amazing grace for all people.

For more helpful ways to love and minister to those who have walked away from the faith, please check out Jason and Jared Carlson’s audio album, Answering the Tough Topics, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

Past-Fast-Facts

This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Advent Apologetics – December 25th as the Date of Christmas

  • There is no historical evidence that Jesus was born on December 25th. However, while this date is improbable it is not impossible. A springtime date, though, better fits the gospel accounts of the birth of Christ. So, where does the December 25th date for Christmas come from?
  • Historical evidence shows Christians observing December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth as early as the 200’s A.D. However, the first official Christmas celebration occurred on December 25, 336 A.D. after Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity.
  • The most likely reason the early Church chose December 25th as the date to celebrate Christ’s birth was simply because of the metaphorical significance of the winter solstice to the arrival of the Messiah (i.e. the idea of light, new life, etc.).
  • It is also possible the Church chose December 25th as a rival to certain pagan religious practices in the Roman Empire that were centered on the winter solstice and the “birth” of their sun gods (Saturnalia, Mithra, Sol Invictus, etc.).
  • Some Christians become concerned when considering the possibility that our December 25th celebration of Christmas might have any association with pagan religious practices, even if as a rival.
  • However, while it is right to be concerned as Christians about syncretism with non-Christian religious practices, we must also remember that the Church has historically viewed the reshaping of culture as a positive endeavor.
  • When it comes to our celebration of Christmas on December 25th, like Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), we can affirm that, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of Him who made it.”

Give the gift of apologetics this Christmas! We’ve got some great resources, like the book, Apologetics For A New Generation, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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