Arguments are for those who already agree
These are important, often provocative questions. Some of these are the stuff of headlines and talk shows.
I’m referring to the questions embedded in the new series we launched last weekend. There are some strongly held beliefs and opinions when it comes to world religions, faith and science, sexuality, and so on. The church has historically wrestled with, and drawn some conclusions about these important areas. My hope and prayer is that we can avoid shouting, boasting, or simply seeking to win an argument. In the words of Peter the apostle,
Always be prepared to give an answer…for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
Too often the “gentleness and respect” have been in short supply. It’s easy to resort to sound bites or finely honed arguments. I’ve come to realize that no one wants to be “argued” into someone else’s beliefs. The facts, or logic, or experience that seems so compelling to you or me may not convince someone else. Arguments are best suited for those who already agree. For everyone else, conversation is a better approach. That means listening, and offering thoughtful replies. It takes more time. It creates more messy conversations. But it’s the only way to gently and respectfully engage with those around us.
Be sure to join us this weekend as Pastor Jeannette offers a thoughtful reply to the question, “How is Jesus like other gods?”
P.S. Click here for additional resources related to last week’s conversation about the trustworthiness of the Bible.