Okay, I have to confess. Sometimes, when I get into a theological argument with a believer in another religion, I get a little arrogant. And mean. I remember a Jehovah’s Witness coming to my door with a recruit, and in order to entirely remove her argument from her, I pulled out my Greek New Testament, turned it to 1st Corinthians, handed it to her upside down, and then asked her to explain where John 1:1 says that “the word was a god.” Well, she stammered for several minutes, then I craftily took the Greek Testament back, flipped it right side up, explained that I had given it to her upside down and turned to Corinthians, then I proceeded to flip the text to John 1:1 where I proceeded to properly parse John 1:1 to remove any possibility of Arianism from the verse.
I thought that this would be enough to properly persuade the woman and her young trainee that they were following a lie. Instead, they quickly left with no more words and I have never seen them again. I didn’t think about what I had done, only that I had smashingly won that round of religious ping pong. It wasn’t until far later that I thought, “Hmm, I won, but they probably still don’t accept Christ in terms of orthodox Christianity. I wonder why?”
Sometimes we know the truth, and we can even tell the truth, but if we tell it in pride, we may as well be a clanging cymbal or gong. Witnessing to others means being both truthful and graceful to others. Love does not take pride in wacking someone over the head with the mallet of truth. I pray that God will give me the grace necessary to spread the gospel next time, not win an argument.