It is important that, as Christians, we do not adopt a ‘find fires, and douse fires’ approach to our articulation of the truth of faith in Jesus Christ.
Whenever people adopt a ‘find fires, and douse fires’ approach to defense of anything, they always end up creating more problems, because they do not start off with the big picture, and in the focus on a particular detail, sometimes they further confound the problem.
Having been misled by their own ignorance and love for falsehood to believe perpetrators of the myth that Christianity is inimical to science, as such rooted in spiritism or superstition, some people have misled themselves into hatred for Christianity and Christians.
Christians who teach that a person who does not believe in Christ cannot live righteously, clearly do not help matters. It is not that non-Christians cannot live righteously — he who does what is right is righteous (1John 3:7) — but rather that they are unable to attain to the righteousness that is of faith in Jesus Christ, the only righteousness that has capacity for fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Apostle Paul puts it this way (words in brackets mine in spirit of an amplified reading of the Scriptures).
Not having my own righteousness, which is of law (morality), but that which is through faith of Christ (the righteousness that commences with receipt of the love nature of God as a gift from The Father) — the righteousness that is of God by the faith — Philippians 3:9.
Non-Christians can have a righteousness that derives from their morality. What they cannot acquire via morality is the righteousness that is through faith in Jesus Christ.
There are tiers of righteousness. The righteousness that consists in morality is the lowest form of righteousness, referred to as ‘filthy rags’ (Isaiah 64:6).
If persons who hate Christianity really were interested in truth, they would find in history evidence that Isaac Newton, perhaps, prior to Einstein the greatest physicist, was a practicing Christian; that Robert Boyle, the undisputed Father of Chemistry was a practicing Christian; that Marie Curie, the only person ever to win Nobel Prizes in two different disciplines (Physics and Chemistry) was a practicing Christian. The list of course goes on and on.
We arrive then at an important truth, which is, right up until Einstein, just about all major advancements in the sciences were predicated on work done by practicing Christians.
Personally, I spend my energies articulating essence of Christianity and faith in Christ in context of my own self fashioned agenda and approach. That way, I do not get caught up ‘finding and dousing fires’.
I enjoyed your post.
If you were to read the books, ‘In Jesus Name’ (IJN), or ‘True Sanctification (TS)’, both of which are available for sale on Amazon.com, with both books focused on the Love of Christ, but with IJN focused on how to acquire and maintain the resource — the Love of Christ, and TS focused on how to acquire more of the Love of Christ, I believe you will receive some new grace from Christ that speeds you on in your quest to grow into the Love of God.
Full disclosure, the two books are authored by me. You may think I am biased, but in Christ I assert there are not any other books like IJN or TS out there.
When you are not a pastor with a catchment audience, when you do not play underhanded games, sometimes, the voices that really have nothing of substance to say are the ones that get heard the most.
If you wonder at the dichotomy between IJN and TS (amazon.com links provided) just think about it. Every Corporation that is successful attempts to remain good at what they already are known for, and attempt to generate new things. So then, Apple is known for it’s iPhone and iPad, then perturbs into the iWatch — something entirely different and new. Absent acquisition of some new resources, the sorts of which they did not have previously, the iWatch would not be possible.
It is the same way in our relationship with Christ. There are activities that help us acquire and maintain the Love of Christ. And there are activities that are designed such that they enable us grow even more into the Love of Christ. These second set of activities provide us with opportunity for experiencing new dimensions of the Love of Christ. If we do not practice the two sets of activities, we are not able to make the most of our relationship with Christ.
Hope you will find it in yourself to check the books out.