Discussion and Debate

This week I witnessed two sincere Christians arguing over whether “The Message” followed scripture or not. Especially in religious discussion, distancing someone with scripture or sources without some kind of explanation, analysis, or communication can raise defenses before anyone takes the time to listen. Standing on the other side simply saying that something will be understood by faith alone or ‘only believing’ carries little to no weight to those who do not understand your faith. I can remember so many conversations that I was a part of on both of those sides, where we each knew what we believed. Clearly, the other side just wasn’t understanding that I had the right answer, because my God was infallible and since I was defending him (in my head) surely my argument was invincible too. God’s truth and His works have never been the cause of misunderstanding, only our inability to communicate and understand within the limitations of our language. The church should always come together as His children, learning to love him better. I never want to miss that opportunity because I was so certain of my beliefs and ideas that I was closed off from anything that He may have sent for me to learn and grow from.

I’ve been posting “lessons” or something of the sort in the hopes that there would be questions, comments, debate, anyone to ‘challenge’ my personal beliefs, so that the discussion could begin. Clearly, the sheer volume of citations can be overwhelming and may be deterring you from commenting. So I want to ask, instead, what would you like to see taken to true debate? I’m not saying I am right or have the answers, far from it. I want us to take the time to explain what we believe and the why. If you do believe you are right, then explaining why will only help others to understand. We are not perfect. Only through communication and understanding of our different perspectives can we come to His truth. God is not deterred by questions, rather is encouraged in their desire to learn. He wants us to understand and to learn, not only from Him but from each other.

One of the most strenuous fights for me as a young man was learning to live the life He wanted for me. I was spending hours praying and begging for the things I needed in my life. My pastor told me that I must be insincere, that the more time I spent on my knees would prove my sincerity, that I would ‘break through’ to Him, earning His mercy and gifts. That’s why I wanted to go through prayer with you all, to see what each of you thought and went through. What is prayer to you? What are your questions? What can we teach each other?

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