As a college student, you may find that constantly interrupting your professor’s lectures to object to his attacks against Christianity is not the most winsome way to being a witness for Christ. At times it may be appropriate to respond to your professor, however, on the whole, interrupting lectures for the extent of your time in a class can often do more damage to your witness than good. Here are four principles for being faithful to Christ while sitting under the false criticism of an unbelieving professor:
- Remember your former way of life – One of the most helpful reminders for me amidst unbelievers is to remember that I was enslaved to the same sinful hardness that they are presently stuck in. Along this same vein, Paul reminds Titus to shepherd the believers in his care to “be gentle and to show perfect courtesy towards all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures….But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy” (Titus 3:1-5).
- Remember the Savior’s patient endurance – Christ suffered under the false accusations of those who crucified him. As your professor misrepresents the Christian position, you walk the similar path of Christ as you patiently endure. Entrust God to carry out justice against His enemies as the ground for your steadfastness. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
- Remember to pray for them – We remain in this world to be a light to those who are perishing. For your professor’s eternal joy, labor for him in prayer as you listen. This is the greatest act of love. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
- Remember to be prepared – One of the great fruits of people who oppose our faith is that it challenges us to better understand why we believe what we believe. Listen intently to your professor’s objections and then labor to know why you believe Christianity provides a coherent rebuttal. “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
What other suggestions would you add?