Saturday, July 12, 2008

Arguing Into The Kingdom

I have to give an apology.

For years I have been steeped in the idea that arguing one's beliefs are just part of Christian life. I come from a long line of debaters and can clarly remember the highlight of any family gathering being an argument of Some Kind was going to happen. Every time, without fail, there would be some kind of verbal brawl.

But I was convicted on the way home today. There was a program on the radio that shot right through me, and one of the things that really stuck out was when he said, "You can win the argument, but lose your audience."

I could argue about whatever, and it still wouldn't accomplish the goal I thought the arguing was meant for. There could be 100% of the facts on my side, and I could even possibly convince the other person I was right about my faith, and it still would not matter. That freshly-convinced person with all the head knowledge would still go to Hell.

Faith isn't a brain excercise, it's a heart issue, and I can't convince someone's heart to change. When I look in the Bible and see that Jesus never argued with anyone, just simply acted or quoted scripture, it hurts me. It hurts because now I realize that I haven't been representing Christ in this area of my life. It shows that my actions on this blog really is a poor witness, and when I go back and see that I've written this:

This whole blog, including the arguments we have, is meant as a witness for what God's done in my life.

And now I'm sitting here thinking, wow, what a great way for me to show what God's done in my life. By arguing. Instead of spending time coming up with actual USEFUL blog entries, that minister to Christians, or flesh out some other ideas about the Bible, I argue.

One thing a good friend uses during sermons is, "It's not about being right, it's about being rescued." I really never understood that as fully as I do now.

Nobody can be argued into God's Kingdom, and Christians aren't called to debate their beliefs.

Anonymous, I wish I could get across how sorry I am for fighting with you about beliefs. The truth is, unless God does the saving work in a heart, none of what I say matters. If I could change your mind, it wouldn't matter, because head knowledge isn't what God is looking for. My true goal in that was for you to know Christ, and I've failed at showing what He's even like. As I've said above, He didn't argue points, just acted to show His character.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I should be angry, disappointed, or disgusted, if not all three, by this blog. How fatalistic and depressing you sound. "Woe is me, I understand how little I can do to defend or speak for this position, so, as with everything else in my life, I'm going to give up and let my beliefs about invisible saviors take over." You don't even understand that there are not 100% of the facts on your side, just your belief that there are, hence your failing position. Faith is the absence of brain exercise. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be used as the cure all for every problem you can't fix. It's not about being right, its about being rescued? Can you paint a bigger example how you've mixed two completely independent ideas and used them to excuse and run from any real progress? News flash, if your wrong then there's nothing to be saved from. Better said, because your wrong, your wasting your time pretending to save people. This isn't someone dangling from a cliff and an argument about whether you should repel down or raise a ladder up. That person obviously and objectively needs to be saved. Your trying to save people from hell? Hell, a concept invented well before the time of the bible. The devil, a character with many names and many forms all predating your text. But no, these facts, this real history you spit in the face of for your beliefs. Your harmful beliefs that waste yours and others time. Your destructive beliefs that stifle people's drive for critical thinking and objective analysis. Your divisive belief that cries assimilate or be ostracized. If Christ was the type of person to not stand up for truth, not his fluttering stomach feelings, actual truth, then he's nothing I care to respect or emulate. Maybe we should all follow the character of god in the old testament. Maybe we should divide our families and rally behind the sword wielding Christ. No, I choose peace, reason, and objective truth.