I enjoy the study of apologetics, defined by the dictionary as the branch of theology concerned with the defense or proof of Christianity. I think it is important to know what we believe and why. Voddie Baucham's humble but intellectual speaking; Josh McDowell's awesome testimony and clear arguments; Janet Parshall's articulate ability to deal with controversial issues; Ryan Dobson's wit and sense of humor as a new voice to teens: all these are experts in the field which I admire (though I don't necessarily agree with everything they say). I plan to teach my children how to defend what they believe.
However, the term apologetics seems unfortunate. It is also defined as "offering or expressing an apology or excuse". While the Bible does say to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks, I'm wondering why we feel the need to apologize or give an excuse for believing the Truth. The question running around in my mind is, "Why does the burden of proof always have to be on us?"
When people ask me why I choose to dress modestly, I never ask them why they feel comfortable in exposing their bodies to the world. If I did, they would probably just shrug and say, "I like the style of my clothes" or "I don't want to look different". So, instead of giving them a Scriptural thesis on modesty, would it be o.k. for me to just say, "I like the look of modest clothes" or "I don't want to look like everyone else" ?
When people ask me why we choose to homeschool our children, why do I feel I have to pull out my "credentials" and "reasons" as if apologizing for our lifestyle. I never require them to tell me how much education their children's teachers have or if they think the kids are being positively socialized or if they can read well by age 5.
When people ask me why I don't work outside the home like them, why can't I just reply, "Because staying home with my kids fulfills me. It is the best scope for my talents to be used" ? Like they do.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we should check our brains at the door and live by how we feel about an issue on a given day. But every once in awhile, maybe we should just stop before we get into a long explanation. Because most of the people who ask don't want to know anyway. Debate is not helpful to the cause of Christianity most of the time. At least not when it's engaged in by you and your neighbor or relative.
The truth is when I feel I must apologize for my lifestyle, it isn't really in my heart, but it's just a list of rules or dos and don'ts. If the law of God is in my heart, I can reply just like those who disagree with me:
"It just feels right to me." "I like it this way." And mean it.
If you want to know what I believe, I'll tell you. I'll even tell you why if you really want to know. But don't expect any apologies from me, because God has written on the table of my heart His law, and no excuse is going to erase it!