"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." -1 Peter 3:15

As we discussed in part one of this series, our Christian children are going to face opposition to their faith, both in college and in their career. How should our Christian teens respond when their faith is questioned, when their beliefs are mocked, when their rights are trampled upon? Sometimes it is easier to look at a question in reverse, so let's start with how Christians should not respond. Here are a few items that occurred in the past year that will help illustrate.

Rosie O'Donnell told The View audience, "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam." This comment was illogical and inflammatory, and I am certain Miss O'Donnell does not really believe that a large, organized group of Christians exists who are blowing up innocent people. Miss O'Donnell lives a lifestyle in opposition to some of the Judeo-Christian values of the Bible, and certain laws she would be in favor of would not pass if Christians had their way. So it seems what she really meant to say was that Activist Christians would be a threat to the laws she would like to see passed. A very different comment than the one she made, and it doesn't pack the same punch.

Many Christians were highly insulted and either asked for or demanded an immediate apology. Some called for her resignation. I asked a different question that I would like you to consider: What would bring Miss O'Donnell to say something like this that was obviously not true? 

I believe what fuels the fire for accusations such as hers are those who call themselves Christians but who do not behave in a very Christ-like manner. Each time someone calling himself a Christian speaks out in anger, it only serves to inflame. Unfortunately, the mainstream news media is only too willing to run their stories because they make Christians look like intolerant wackos.

This brings us to another story. A Christian guest on the Hannity and Colmes show stirred up some controversy after the Amish school shooting last fall when she expressed the opinion that the five little Amish girls killed at that school had so angered the Lord with their sins that He had them murdered. Apparently, no other sinners walking the earth that day deserved God's wrath. Two other things kept running through my mind as she spoke. 1) If she really believed that the Amish and our country are on the wrong path, wouldn't it have been more persuasive and Christ-like to share those opinions in love and with respect? 2) As it stands now, the only thing she succeeded in communicating is that she is a Radical Christian Wacko. You know, like the kind Miss O'Donnell warned you about!

"A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle." –Proverbs 18:19

Another incident of a Christian responding inappropriately occurred not too long ago when a secular band released a new CD that was explicitly anti-Christian in its content. It shouldn't surprise us when these types of groups use Satanic hype in order to rally fans and sell CDs. It has been going on for decades in the music industry. These are usually lost souls, ignorant of the truth. They are caught up in things that, for the most part, they do not fully understand. As Christ said, "They know not what they do."

I came across a website on which people were discussing the new CD. Most of the comments were, as you might expect, primarily the rantings of young teens cheering the band on using foul language and very little intellect. Most entries made fun of Christians or denounced any responsibility in life. Some comments were from kids who just did not want to answer to anyone. Life was one big funfest to them and Christians were raining on their parade! However, one comment in particular caught my eye. It was posted by a woman claiming to be a Christian. I was deeply disappointed and saddened to find that her comment was harsh and hateful as she told the band to, "burn in hell." Here was a Christian's chance to speak up and defend the faith or plant a seed for Christ, but she failed to do either. As we might expect, the responses to her comment were even angrier and more focused than the original comments. When you respond in anger, it only turns the level of anger up a notch. What it almost never does is raise the level of persuasion!