Five Minute Ministry is born!

About eight years ago I was at an apologetics conference in St. Louis and a former Jehovah's Witness, Charles Smith, relayed a very interesting story. He said he was asking another man, who had been a JW for forty years, what was the first thing that made him start to doubt the Watchtower Society. The man told him, "Thirty-three years ago a good Christian woman asked me a question I couldn't answer. She asked, 'Why do you think it was so important to Jesus that you are born again?' I didn't have a good answer to that question and it bothered me." This story has always made me think that if this man had been asked more questions like that, ones he couldn't answer, then it probably wouldn't have taken so long for him to leave the Watchtower.

With this in mind, I've been thinking of those kind of questions that the average Christian, the ones who don't want, and aren't prepared for a long debate, could ask the Jehovah's Witness or Mormon that comes to their door. They could also have good challenging questions to confront other false teachings of other religions and even for atheists. These questions won't settle the issue once and for all for these people but it might put a rock in their shoe to get them to think and reconsider. If their recognized authority, the Watchtower, the modern-day prophet, the Vatican, the University, or whatever they trust, doesn't have a good answer to a simple question then they can't have a very honest base of support for that authority.

The name, Five Minute Ministry', comes from the idea that any Christian ought to be able to be kind to anyone for at least five minutes and ask a good question in defense of the faith. Jesus used questions wisely to respond to critics. Someone who opposes you can put up a mental barrier to what you say but if they are asked a question then they can't put up such a barrier to the truth they already know, even if it is the fact that they don't know the answer and are bluffing. A Christian who can't be kind and gracious to the cultist at the door, even when they are called upon at a bad time, shouldn't claim to be a Christian. They don't need to commit to weeks and months of studies with the cultist to defend their faith, and probably shouldn't unless they are really well prepared, but they can take five minutes to ask a challenging question that plants that seed of truth, that builds doubt in their organization.

This blog is a place for me to organize these disparate thoughts, observations and questions. I can also make notes of ministry encounters and record the responses I get. The organization of the blog should make it easier for me to prepare talks on the subject and maybe for eventual publication of some sort.


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