Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Arguing Viewpoints

Living here has changed us all...We *think* for the better ... but who can really say? The world got bigger, and now everything looks different. Before we moved we were unwilling to change our minds, we knew the answers and we had no reason to even hear the other side of many arguments. As odd as it sounds, being removed from media and our comfort zone has allowed us more room to think for ourselves. Much of what defined us before is now unimportant to us. It is a strange phenomenon - but not uncommon in our situation ... or so we are told.

Good thoughts from -
  1. We ought to have convictions.

  2. On difficult topics, I would rather someone have a strong conviction that I disagree with than for them to be wishy-washy. James 1:8 says that the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Not taking a position IS a position, just not a strong one. We ought never to look down on a person with convictions, but rather, should admire them for having convictions even if we disagree with their conviction!

  3. People who disagree with you probably love God as much as you do.

  4. Too often, when Christians disagree, they jump so quickly to judging the other at a level that is above and beyond the issue of disagreement. Suddenly, the other is addressed or talked about as though they are less of a Christian or are somehow less spiritual because they think differently. Too often I hear attacks like, ''You must not want to reach kids...'' or ''Then you don't care about...'' Don't be a Pharisee and mistake outward actions for proof of inner spirituality. People can have the same love for God as you and come to a different conclusion on a controversial subject.

  5. Differing opinions in areas not spelled out in Scripture are not so much a result of a lack of unity as they are evidence that we were all created differently.

  6. Discussing our opinions and convictions forces us to think and to challenge our assumptions and presuppositions. Throughout our history as God's people, disagreements have helped us to define and clarify what we believe. Embrace conflict, for it refines you. Proverbs says that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. What many fail to notice is that for iron to sharpen iron, it must clash or rub against the other!

  7. Remember we are family, and will be spending a lot of time together in the future (eternity!).

  8. I started a little discussion group when I was a Bible college student at Moody. It was called C.H.A.T. and it stood for Christians Happily Arguing Theology. We met monthly for a C.H.A.T. session. We would pick a different subject each time and argue about it (end times, election/free-will, infant baptism, gifts of H.S., etc.). Below is our list of basic rules or ideas that kept our arguing 'happy'. If you broke these rules, you were asked to leave and were not invited to the next C.H.A.T.

    • Be genuinely interested in Truth.

    • Be willing to listen as eagerly as you are willing to talk.

    • Be willing to change your mind.

    • Argue ideas passionately, but never attack the person.

    • Argue in such a way so that when you get to Heaven and find out who was right, you won't be embarrassed when you run into them!

Happy Birthday to Tara's Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We love you Dad - We love you Big Poppy!

Hugs from all of us here. :)