Robby Lashua

Don’t Let Potential Negative Outcomes Keep You From Sharing Truth with Compassion

We are called to be ambassadors for Christ, which includes modeling how he expressed truth and compassion. Some people will respond to the evidence we present; others won’t. We still share, we still love, and we still defend. Don’t let potential negative outcomes keep you from sharing the truth with compassion. Be like Jesus.

I’d been preparing my argument for six months, and now it was time to deliver. I was precise, winsome, and articulate. Honestly, my delivery couldn’t have gone better. The conversation went back and forth as I continued to make point after point. My opponent had no ground to stand on, and I had tactically and tactfully shown him just that. To my surprise, he still did not want to change his mind. How could this happen? I had done everything right.
There are times when we are prepared, respectful, and gentle with our apologetic approach, yet it still doesn’t convince or convert. Although the goal of every conversation is to put a stone in someone’s shoe—to leave that person with something to think about—it would be nice if our well-executed arguments were received and believed.
When we face this common problem, it’s comforting to know that Jesus himself encountered the same thing.
In John 5 and 9, there’s a contrast between the two different men Jesus heals. These two men respond to Jesus in opposite ways.
The first man (John 5:1–18) had been sick for thirty-eight years and was completely helpless. He couldn’t move quickly and had no one to help him with his ailments. Jesus asks him, “Do you wish to get well?” The man replies that he doesn’t have anyone to help him into the pool of Bethesda, which he believes has healing powers. Jesus then says, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” The man is miraculously healed and obeys what Jesus said.
This is great. The miracle shows that Jesus is the healer, not the “magical” water. Jesus does the work, not the quickest person into the pool. Jesus expresses compassion and love toward the helpless. He reveals the truth about who God is to this man. You would think Jesus’ method of communicating and evidencing the truth would compel this man to believe in him. Sadly, no.
After being healed, the man is peppered with questions from his fellow Jews.
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Quarantine Is Not a Good Option

You will have plenty of opportunities to inoculate your children from the evil they’ll encounter. Be intentional. Point out the dangers and why they’re enticing. Warn about the consequences of sin, and lead your children toward the righteous path. Be a wise parent and intentionally inoculate your children. Quarantine is not a good option.

Recently, Target stores partnered with a transgender designer, who has used Satanist imagery in the past, to create LGBTQ+ designs for a few of their Pride Month items. That’s a sentence I never thought I would write, but here we are, and Pride Month is just beginning.
Drag queen story hours at libraries, cartoons celebrating same-sex marriage, and, most recently, children’s swimsuits constructed for “tucking” male genitalia so the wearer can appear to be female. The constant attempt to indoctrinate children with LGBTQ+ ideology keeps coming, and it isn’t going to stop.
So, what do we do? As tempting as it might be, don’t move your family to a plot of land without internet, electricity, and running water. I’m suggesting that instead of being overwhelmed, we intentionally inoculate our children. Let me explain.
I have seen two primary parenting approaches when it comes to raising Christian children. The first is the quarantine approach. These parents try to keep evil from reaching their children. They attempt to protect and insulate their children by keeping all evil influences from infiltrating their children’s lives. This approach typically fails for two reasons.
First, it’s impossible to successfully keep all evil away from your children because your children are sinners and commit evil deeds. Sorry to be harsh, but it’s biblical.
Second, when children are eventually exposed to all of the things they were insulated from, it’s overwhelming, and they don’t know how to cope with it.
The better parenting approach is inoculation. Stand to Reason has taught this principle for many years, and I have found it helpful in training my children to follow Jesus. Instead of trying to quarantine our children from the evil in the world, we need to inoculate them from it.
Medical inoculations expose a person to a small dose of a harmful virus so their body can build up a resistance to it.
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Polygamy in the Bible is Not Prescriptive

How should we view the patriarchs of the Old Testament who practiced polygamy? First, we must recognize that polygamy is described as something they practiced but never as something God prescribed. We should view these men as they are described, flawed human beings, who sinned immensely, that God still loved and worked through. This should encourage us because we all are sinners. I’m glad God works with flawed people like you and me, but make no mistake, polygamy is not and has never been intended by God.

I recently wrote an article responding to polyamorists’ claim that “love is not a finite resource.” This got me thinking about possible objections to what I wrote. Some might ask, “If human love is a finite resource, then why did the Old Testament patriarchs have so many wives and concubines?” This is a fair question that all Christians need to be able to respond to.
The ugly truth is that many of the heroes in the Old Testament were polygamists. Jacob had two wives and Esau had three. King David, the man after God’s own heart, had at least eight wives. Solomon, not to be outdone, had a staggering seven hundred wives (1 Kings 11:3).
These examples from Scripture are perplexing because God used these men to do great things for his name and his people. Would God use men who were living in sexually sinful lifestyles to fulfill his purposes? Was polygamy permissible for these patriarchs, and if it was, is it permissible for us?
To answer these questions, we need to determine one thing. Are these passages about polygamy prescriptive or descriptive? Are they prescribing how we are supposed to live, or are they describing events from the past?
Many passages in Scripture describe events God doesn’t condone. Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and having sex with him comes to mind (Gen. 19:32–36). But many passages of Scripture prescribe how we are to live as followers of God, such as when Jesus prescribes loving God with all of our heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:37).
Is polygamy prescriptive? The short answer is no. Here’s why. God never commands or condones polygamy in Scripture. The opposite is true.
The first mention of polygamy in Scripture says, “Lamech took to himself two wives” (Gen. 4:19). We are then told that Lamech, a descendant of Cain, boasted to his wives about murdering a boy (Gen. 4:23).
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“Love Is Not a Finite Resource”?

Beware of attempts to normalize sexual promiscuity that elevate human capacities to the level of deity. Watch out for linguistic sleights of hand that smuggle in destructive ideas through virtuous terms. 
Slogans are the battle cry of the LGBTQ+ movement. Banners and flags, hoisted high, proudly proclaim these all-too-familiar statements: “Love is love,” “Born this way,” “Be proud, be visible.” All of these slogans are benign when taken at face value, yet we know that more complicated ideas are being expressed through these pithy statements. In a culture that advances agendas through memes, tweets, and slogans, we must be prepared to confront these false ideas.
There’s a new slogan coming from the LGBTQ+ community that requires clear thinking on our part. This slogan, like its predecessors, is a half-truth. Here it is: “Love is not a finite resource.”
What is the meaning behind this phrase? A Facebook post and a meme will help clarify. The Facebook post says, “Love is not a finite resource, #polyamorypride.” The popular meme says, “I wish people would realize that love is not a finite resource. Just because you love multiple people, doesn’t necessarily mean you love any one of them less.” I agree humans are capable of loving multiple people, but the post and the meme are expressing something more.
Polyamory involves being in romantic, sexual relationships with multiple partners at the same time. It is quite literally non-monogamy. The message this new slogan is promoting is actually, “Sex is not a finite resource.” This philosophy has multiple problems. We need to think clearly and be prepared to respond to this polyamorous catchphrase.
First, let’s recognize the linguistic sleight of hand going on here. Using the word “love” to imply “sex” is deceptive, and here’s why. Sex and love aren’t synonyms. I love my wife, my kids, my mom, and my friends. However, most of the people I love are also people I don’t have a sexual relationship with. Actually, all of the people I love are people I’m not involved with sexually, except for one. Sex and love aren’t synonymous terms.
These types of linguistic tricks are often used to smuggle in destructive ideas. For instance, the belief that women ought to be able to legally choose to kill their unborn child is advertised as “pro-choice.” Choosing to give in to deviant sexual desires is championed as “brave” and something to take pride in. Advancing sinful actions by using virtuous terminology is deceptive. Don’t fall for it.
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We Can Know Who Jesus is by Observing What He Did

Jesus is described as the Word, who is God. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3). When asked for evidence of his identity, Jesus—the creator of space, time, matter, and the spiritual realm—performed miracles showing his power over space, time, matter, and the spiritual realm.

“Can I see some ID?” We get this question a lot. We all have many kinds of ID that verify who we are by our eye color, height, weight, where we were born, where we live, and our family of origin. Verifying a human’s identity is simple if you have the right documents, but how would God verify his identity to humans?
Jesus has something to say about this: “The works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36).
Jesus claims that the works he does, the signs and wonders, verify his identity. But how do they do this?
To understand what the miracles performed by Jesus prove about his identity, we need to look at the types of miracles he performed.
The God described in the Scriptures is said to be omnipresent. This big theological term simply means that God is cognitively aware of all things in his creation. Basically, nothing happens that God doesn’t know about because he isn’t limited by geographical space. Jesus performed miracles showing he was aware of things happening away from his physical presence.
In John 1:47–49, Nathaniel comes to meet Jesus, and Jesus says Nathaniel is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit. Perplexed, Nathaniel asks how Jesus knows this, and Jesus replies, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” This statement shocks Nathaniel, to which he replies, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” Nathaniel was amazed at Jesus’ knowledge of his character and whereabouts because Jesus wasn’t physically present at the fig tree.
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How to Respond to Questions that Aren’t Really Questions

We can learn from Jesus’ example how to answer trick questions that are objections to our beliefs. We need to know what our objector believes, recognize bad reasoning, and know how to defend our beliefs. This takes time, effort, and practice, but it is well worth it. People around us are watching how we respond, and we need to represent the truth well.

I hate trick questions. We’ve all had someone ask a seemingly innocent question only to realize they were making a point, not inquiring about what we think. “With all of the religions in the world, how can you believe Jesus is the only way to Heaven?” “Why would a loving God send people to Hell?” Sometimes questions like these aren’t real questions; they’re statements proving a point. So, how do we respond to these tricky questions? Jesus to the rescue.
In Matthew 22:24–28, the Sadducees ask Jesus a trick question:
Teacher, Moses said, “If a man dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife, and raise up children for his brother.” Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.
On the surface, this question seems to be about marriage in Heaven, but it isn’t. The Sadducees had some strange beliefs. Acts 23:8 says, “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.” Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, said the Sadducees taught that “souls die with the bodies.” The Sadducees weren’t asking Jesus a genuine question about the afterlife. They didn’t believe there is an afterlife or resurrection. So, what were they asking?
Their question is more of a statement than an actual question. They’re arguing for why there is no afterlife. According to Deuteronomy 25:5–10, if a man dies and leaves his wife a widow, it is the duty of the dead man’s brother to marry the widow and perpetuate his brother’s lineage. The Sadducees are pointing out that if this woman follows the law, as God commanded, then in the afterlife she will be a polygamist married to seven brothers. This obviously goes against God’s design for marriage, therefore there is no afterlife. Tricky. How did Jesus respond?
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Four Questions about the Love of God to Ask Jehovah’s Witnesses

The verses about God demonstrating his love through sending Jesus to be a sacrifice only make sense if Jesus is God. If Jesus isn’t God, like JWs claim, the verses would communicate that Jesus, a created being, has greater love for us than Jehovah does. However, if Jesus is God, the verses make perfect sense.

As I crested the bridge, there they sat. My hike was finished, but my opportunity to represent Christ was just beginning. At the end of the trail sat two Jehovah’s Witnesses ready to share their faith and give out more information about their church. Part of me wanted to pass them by and head home, but I decided to put a stone in their shoe, to give them something to think about.
A few years ago, I learned a line of argument to use with JWs. I call it “For the Love of Jehovah.” The point of this argument is to show that Jesus must be God based on what Scripture says about the love of Jehovah.
I approached my JW friends and asked them a series of four questions.
First, does Jehovah love human beings? “Of course he does,” they replied. We discussed how John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son. I also mentioned to them 1 John 4:8–10, which says that God is love and his love was manifested through the sending of Jesus to be a propitiation for us.
After establishing Jehovah loves us, we moved on to my second question: What is the greatest demonstration of love according to the Bible? My JW friends paused for a second and then answered they didn’t know. I pointed out John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus claimed self-sacrifice was the greatest form of love. They nodded in agreement.
My third question was, how has Jehovah demonstrated he loves us? They responded by saying he sent his Son Jesus. I agreed, to an extent. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This verse along with John 3:16 and 1 John 4:8-10 explain that God’s demonstration of love was in sending his Son. However, according to Scripture, this isn’t the greatest demonstration of love. Laying down your life, not sending someone else, is the greatest demonstration of love.
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Three Criteria for Using Prophecy in Apologetics

Micah 5:2 meets all three of our requirements and so gives evidence that God was supernaturally involved in the writing of this prophecy. Fulfilled prophecy is evidence that God communicates and is involved in mankind’s history. Pointing out all that Jesus fulfilled can help us draw people’s attention to his message and ministry. Let’s begin to use fulfilled prophecy in our apologetic approach.

If you were God, how would you grab people’s attention? You’d have to do something out of the ordinary, something that would pique people’s interest—something miraculous.
The Bible is a record of God doing this very thing. But what about those of us who have never seen a miracle in our life? How does God get our attention? One way is by performing miracles using history, time, and written records. We call it prophecy.
Biblical prophecy is often overlooked as an apologetic for Christianity. We need to change this. One type of Old Testament prophecy predicts the coming of the Messiah. In fact, some have counted three hundred prophecies predicting when, where, and what the Messiah would be. If we can show these predictions came true, it would help us to build a case for the validity of Scripture, God, and Jesus.
There are three important criteria for using a messianic prophecy in apologetics.

Jesus didn’t fulfill the prophecy deliberately.
The prophecy predates its fulfillment.
The fulfillment of the prophecy can’t be a coincidence.

Once, Jesus appeared to fulfill a prophecy on purpose. Zechariah 9:9 predicted the Messiah would come into Jerusalem seated on a colt. The fulfillment is recorded in Matthew 21:1–11 and John 12:12–16. Jesus, knowing what Zechariah 9:9 had predicted, deliberately fulfilled this prophecy by asking for a colt for his triumphal entry. This kind of fulfilled prophecy would not be persuasive to a non-Christian.
Next, what evidence do we have that a prophecy was written prior to Jesus’ life? If there isn’t evidence the prediction predated the fulfillment, we can’t claim a specific event was foretold and fulfilled in Jesus.
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Don’t be Discouraged by Pride Month

Pride Month can’t compete with Jesus. Jesus is not merely celebrated once a year on Christmas or even twice a year if we include Easter. Jesus is celebrated every Sunday—the Lord’s Day—as Christians worldwide worship Christ and commemorate his resurrection.

Scripture says that pride comes before a fall (Prov. 16:18). In America, pride comes before July—for an entire month. I don’t know how your June was, but mine was permeated with a steady stream of multi-colored imagery. It’s the time of year when companies, sports teams, and politicians change their branding to incorporate the new religious icon of our time, the rainbow.
I know this month-long celebration of sin can be discouraging for you. It discourages me. It’s sad to watch our culture glorify the rejection of God’s design for human sexuality and for human flourishing. On top of that, it’s so in your face. Even going to the grocery store requires maneuvering a minefield of rainbow propaganda.
Staying discouraged won’t help us. What we need instead is clear thinking from a biblical perspective to help us move away from discouragement and toward compassion. Here are three observations that might help.
First, Pride Month confirms Romans 1. Paul gives us a compact explanation of what happens when societies reject God. They become futile in their thinking, they become foolish in their hearts, and they exchange worship of God for worship of idols. Then God gives them over to homosexual sin (Rom. 1:21–27). Sound familiar?
Humans are worshipers. It’s a trait inherent in all of us. We cannot help but worship. But who or what will we worship? According to Romans 1, there are only two options: the Creator or the creation. When people reject the Creator, then something in his creation fills the void.
Sex is one of the most popular idols of all time. Our culture is obsessed with it. Pride Month is not merely the worship of sex, though. June has become a month-long celebration of sexual identities completely contrary to God’s design. All hail the idol of LGBTQIA2S+. Futile, foolish, idol worship—Romans 1 proven true again.
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God Matures Us through Suffering, Not Miracles

Trusting in miracles to alleviate our suffering sets us up for disappointment with God when we’re not delivered. Instead, we pray, cast our cares on the Lord, and consider it all joy when we suffer because we know that through our hardships, our faith is refined and matured. When God does not give us a miracle, that doesn’t mean he let us down. When we embrace suffering for what it can produce in us, we mature, grow in steadfastness, and persevere well, which brings glory to God.

Can it be that seeking regular miracles in our lives isn’t what God intends for us?
First, be clear on this: I’m convinced God can and does perform miracles today. I think we should pray for healing for the sick and ask God to help us in dramatic ways. And sometimes he does. But should Christians expect to see miracles on a regular basis? I don’t think so, and I want to tell you why.
What is God’s purpose in doing miracles? Two things stand out in Scripture.
First, God used miracles to validate his messengers and his message. In the Bible, there are three prominent clusters of miracles that accompany God’s prominent messengers: Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Their miracles got people to pay attention to their message.
Second, God used miracles as an act of mercy to meet deep human need. This was especially evident in Jesus’ ministry when he was moved with compassion to heal, but Moses and Elijah also worked miracles for this reason, too.
God cares about our concerns and sometimes intervenes miraculously to rescue us from our troubles. It’s why we’re told to pray for one another.
Though Jesus performed many miracles, however, he had something interesting to say about those who craved after signs and wonders:
An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matt. 12:39–40)
Jesus said his resurrection from the dead would be the chief miracle validating his ministry. The resurrection was Jesus’ greatest miracle because of what it accomplished. Jesus confirmed his message of salvation by rising from the dead.
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