“However, when I witness one-to-one to a professing atheist, I am careful to take the time to patiently answer his questions, but not go down rabbit trails.” ______Ray Comfort
Sometimes, letting the conversation go down a rabbit trail can lead to humorous depths. I remember once, when I was witnessing to a student at Fullerton College, the subject strayed onto "end times events." (A real hot topic in the '70s) When we read together the verse with the phrase, "earthquakes in divers places" (Matt. 24:7 KJV) the student started talking about her sister's experiences while scuba diving off the coast of Catalina Island.
Here is the article in The Evidence Bible where Ray addresses the issue of getting drawn away from the main subject, which is the Gospel:
The Bible warns us to avoid foolish questions because they start arguments (2 Timothy 2:23). Most of us have fallen into the trap of jumping at every objection to the gospel. However, these questions can often be arguments in disguise to sidetrack you from the “weightier matters of the Law.” While apologetics (arguments for God’s existence, creation vs. evolution, etc.) are legitimate in evangelism, they should merely be “bait,” with the Law of God being the “hook” that brings the conviction of sin. Those who witness solely in the realm of apologetical argument may just get an intellectual decision rather than a repentant conversion. The sinner may come to a point of acknowledging that the Bible is the Word of God, and Jesus is Lord—but even the devil knows that.
Always pull the sinner back to his responsibility before God on Judgment Day, as Jesus did in Luke 13:1–5. Whenever you are in an open-air situation, be wary of so-called Christians who are intent on distracting workers from witnessing. They argue about prophecy, of how much water one should baptize with, or in whose name they should be baptized. It is grievous to see five or six Christians standing around arguing with some sectarian nitpicker, while sinners are sinking into hell. __From The Evidence Bible (Bridge-Logos)
On the previous post, a commenter, (Blogger name: BeamStalk), had this objection:
"The so called rabbit holes, is any question to him. Go back and see how many questions he actually answers and does not take the conversation down some rabbit hole of his own."
And he cited 1 Peter 3:15 to support his objection:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, - 1 Peter 3:15
The commenter who voiced this complaint was referring to questions asked of Ray at the blog, "Atheist Central." I invite readers to visit the comment pages at Atheist Central to see for themselves what he is referring to. Frequently, they are questions that have nothing to do with the subject of the post, and when Ray does answer them, he, more often than not, concludes with a brief Law / Gospel presentation, and asks the questioner to repent of his sins and trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and eternal life. I doubt that Ray Comfort thinks of the Gospel and a plea to trust Christ for salvation as a "rabbit hole."
Some people point to 1 Peter 3:15, thinking that it places Christians under obligation to address, to their satisfaction, any and all objections and challenges thrown their way. Often the challenges are to "prove that God exists, using empirical evidence (peer reviewed, of course) and subject to repeatable testing; or to prove that the "Christian God" is the one true God, as opposed to the millions of others claimed by various world religions. Sometimes the challenge is to reconcile two bible verses that appear to contradict one another.
First, let's look at the verse again. "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"
Now, in context:
13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.