“…so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection….” 1 Corinthians 9:26
” I have fought the good fight…” 2 Timothy 4:7
We, as Christ-ians, face many enemies and fight battles on many fronts. We contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. We contend for the nation by voting the christian conscience. We win or lose the latter through voting or lack thereof, as well as speaking to issues. Humanly speaking, Prayerlessness and the absence of Gospel preaching and the foundational truth of God’s sovereign power are reason also. How does prayerlessness effect a countries values and welfare is obvious if one knows the power of prayer and the Power of the One to Whom we pray. How does the absence of Gospel preaching and/or a Gospel witness effect a nation’s values and welfare? By pure numerics the lost are having more of an impact on this nation due to giving birth and raising godless children. There is more of them than us. The only way to combat that is through hearts being changed, persons submitting to Christ’s Lordship and thinking Christlike.
The former, contending for the faith, is done much the same way. However, Contending for the faith is a spiritual matter and it is done upon spiritual grounds and in the Spirit. In contending for the faith there are (2) two that are victorious. (1) One is the sinner who loses to Christ’s holiness and comes to Christ via Christ’s terms. This defeated victor confesses his ways are the ways of sin and Christ’s is the Way of everlasting Life and is True to His eternal Word. The Other Victor is Christ!
Paul likens the Christian life to a boxing and wrestling. You can ask anyone who is “in the fight” (this is not meant to discount anyone’s ministry behind the scenes. If there were no behind the scenes there would be no one “on stage”) and they will tell you it can wear one out. Praising God, praying thru, arguing (not debating) a point can tire a person out.
The title of this post is “How to Win the Fight Against a Larger Opponent.” The answer would depend on what kind of fight. An uppercut would be the wrong answer if we were talking about a political debate.
The fight we are talking about in this post is the “Contending for the Faith” kind of fight. In our last post we defined “fallacy” and gave examples of the more common fallacies used. Keep that in mind because that is your opponent’s “tell”. I.E. your opponent is telling you that they have 0 support for their position and they know their position is being or has already been defeated. Keep this in mind also…You are not seeking to defeat a person but a position, a view, a point, a belief system, etc.
We can use the example of a jiu jitsu principle to elaborate upon the vital import of relevance.
The experienced jiu jitsu fighter is able to fight and beat larger opponents. They do it time and time again. Some j.j. fighters can tell you how they plan to defeat you and then do it even though you knew their plan.
When we were still training and fighting we learned this principle, we are not fighting a man or competing against a larger opponent. We learned to focus on a body part or member. In other words, the fight was not between ourself (160-170 lbs) and a (220 lb) man. The fight was between ourself and a leg or a shoulder or an arm or an Adam’s apple or a carotid artery. While our opponent, who was not trained in Jiu Jitsu, was fighting a 170 pound man we were fighting a left shoulder of a right handed man. This is how one wins a fight.
That is also how one defeats an erroneous belief, a position, a point, a view, or an argument.
Do not debate the person but the position. Focus on the position only or in other words focus on that which is relevant to the argument. When a fallacy is used or brought in by the other person either ignore it or point it out as proof to the weakness of their argument… Then get back to the relevant point…Now.
St. Paul said he was not as one who “beateth the air” or shadow boxing. Beloved, our enemy(ies) are real and they are at the gate. If you do not believe me go to the Yahoo site, find any article on Franklin Graham or his sister, scroll down to the comments section and read what people say about them. You may as well interchange your name for Graham because they feel the same way about you.
Another way to shut down many of the haters is to simply ask them to support their position with evidence. For example, “Do you have any proof?”, “Can you support that statement with facts?”, “Can you give me a website so I can see for myself”, “What facts support your position?”, “Could you please explain further”, “Could you elaborate, please?”
Much of the time questions like these shut mouths and demonstrate ignorance. Hopefully when the mouth is stopped the mind will open. The Proverbs tells us the wise person will be ready to learn at this point.