Wikipedia currently defines apologetics as “the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse.” Faith Ascent, and other Christian organizations like us, often point to 1 Peter 3:15 as the cornerstone verse for why we need to have good reasons for our faith.
But 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 ESV
While it’s almost always the “defense” aspect of this iconic verse that catches our attention, for people like Lydia, it’s the “gentleness and respect” in action that really changes lives.
Lydia (16 years old) came to Base Camp for the first time this year when her Mom “signed me up and told me that I’m coming.” Not only was Lydia coming, but her two brothers were coming along as well, whether they liked it or not! Thankfully, Lydia ended up enjoying Base Camp, telling us that she hopes to come back next year!
From Lydia’s interview at Base Camp with our team, it’s clear that what stuck with her, perhaps more than the seminars and lectures themselves, were the relationships with other Climbers that she made.
"My group ended up giving each other our email addresses so we can connect outside of Base Camp."
A key factor in Lydia’s week was the concept that not all Christians agree. In fact, there is a wide diversity of thought on a whole slew of issues. One of the main lessons she took away from Camp, especially reinforced by the session taught by Jannique Stewart, is that it’s possible to “disagree but respect and still love other Christians”.
When asked how she would describe Base Camp to someone who wasn’t sure whether or not they wanted to come, Lydia had this to say:
“You learn a lot of stuff that you do not know and you make a lot of new friends. Everyone here makes you feel comfortable. You're at home here. You can just feel comfortable coming and enjoying and hanging out. Even if you don't always agree with everything they say, you can still learn a lot.”
There’s a lesson here for all of us. Peter calls us first of all to “honor Christ the Lord” with our hearts. As we worship God and seek to know him more, we can find unity with our brothers and sisters in our collective hope in Jesus, the Lord of all. Even when we disagree with our fellow Christians, whenever we “give reason for the hope that is in us”, as Lydia would say, we’re at home.