Nothing New Under the Sun

Have you ever gotten into a discussion with a religious person who had an agenda? I did recently. I met a woman who seemed genuinely interested in learning more about the Lord. She asked, "Are you a Christian?" When I replied that I was, she asked me what I could tell her about Jesus. "What do you want to know?" I asked. She said she wanted to know everything I could tell her. "That's a lot," I said, "Could you be more more specific?" She said she wanted to know why Jesus was called the Son of Man.

I began to share with her what the Gospels teach about Jesus and why He was called the "Son of Man". We talked for 40-45 minutes, more questions, more answers. All of a sudden, the tone of the questions changed. Before I knew it, she was questioning everything I said and spouting Scriptures at me (completely out of context). (I thought I was speaking to someone who wanted to learn something, but she seemed to be fairly well-versed in her topic.) The discussion continued. "Do you see where I'm going with this?" She said. (Going with this? I thought I was telling her what I knew about the Lord.) Finally I asked, "What religion are you, Seventh Day Adventist? Jehovah's Witness?" I got a vague answer. "What is your agenda?" She evaded the question and asked me something else. "If you don't tell me what religious group you belong to, the conversation is ending right now." Flustered, she asked me another question to try to change the subject. "What point are you trying to make?" Another attempt to change the subject--end of discussion.

In the course of our discussion, the woman tried to use Scripture to tear down and rebuild much of what I believe. That bothered me. The woman was deceptive by leading me to believe that she wanted to learn more about the Lord when, in fact, she had an agenda.

As I thought about my conversation with the woman, I remembered a discussion that happened in the Garden of Eden. The serpent, a crafty creature, came to Eve and asked her if God really meant what He said about eating fruit from the tree in the garden. She replied that they weren't allowed to eat of the fruit or touch the tree or they would die. "You will not surely die." The serpent told Eve. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” We all know what Eve and Adam did. They ate the fruit.

How was the tactic the woman tried to use on me the other day any different from the age old tactic the serpent used on Eve in the garden? There's not much difference. Here it is in a few steps:

1. Take your "victim" off guard by questioning them. In my case, the woman started by making me think that she was interested in learning more about Christianity. I was relaxed and not expecting the conversation to be turned so quickly.

2. Find a major point in your "victim's" belief system, and try to find a hole. In the garden, the serpent told Eve that God was wrong, she wouldn't die. In my case, the woman tried to make me think that I had misread the Scriptures that talked about Jesus Christ.

3. Once you have them questioning and in a state of confusion, throw a new idea in their direction. The serpent told Eve that not only would she not die, but that she would become like a god knowing good and evil. The woman I spoke with was telling me that there was another way to come to God instead of through Jesus Christ.

There is nothing new under the sun, and cult recruiters, politicians and anyone else who is trying to lure unsuspecting victims into their group will use these tactics. As Christians, we don't need to stoop to deception or even clever arguments to try to bring people to Christ. All we need do is present them the truth of the Gospel and the love of Christ, and let the Spirit of God do the convincing work in their hearts.


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