Let’s start an argument!
I am not suggesting the kind of heart ripping, character trashing, irrational, sort of emotional argument like cranky lover’s have. Let’s start an argument like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle or Jesus might have had. Let’s start one of those amazing arguments which ultimately leads us both down a path toward deeper, richer discoveries of truth, beauty and wisdom… a grand argument of enlightenment!
Remember how Jesus did it? An issue was raised and all he needed to do was ask one question to get the rolling ball halted in its tracks.
“But what about you… who do YOU say I am?”
“Whose inscription is on this coin?”
“Tell me, John’s baptism… was it from God or from men?”
A Cleverly Crafted Question
Wow! A good presupposition can sure crumble under the scrutiny of a clever question! In fact, really good arguments may be more about crafting the question than presenting your position! A carefully crafted, sharpened to a fine point question… at just the right time… makes us think… makes us reconsider… and if we’re humble enough, makes us surrender our weaker positions.
Let’s have the kind of argument which so strongly embraces our shared quest of drawing closer to our mysterious and majestic God, that it forms a bond between us… so strong; nothing will ever tear us apart! Let’s forge such an indomitable relationship that the rusty ol’ gates of that ancient abyss will rattle with fear!
Godly unity builds a firm foundation. From this foundation we will launch massive rockets powerful enough to carry us to the very edge of Heaven itself; this is a foundation which is firm enough to fortify and protect our little slice of that awesome abode right here on Earth.
Let’s have an argument which never gives in to the sinful, seductiveness of pride. Pride lives down in that abyss and employs a demon named “Defensiveness.” His approach comes with a smoldering smell of sulfur. He knocks on your door like an unwelcome visitor. Don’t open it! Defensiveness in it’s unbridled form is a beast of an emotion because he defends only the self!
When you feel his claws scraping the back of your ears or your neck, flee! Flee quickly! Defensiveness of the self is the first sign of pride rearing it’s head, leering with Gollum-like eyes into your soul. Once he slithers in, he snags your lips and you utter his first ghastly word of protestation… that little word, “But…”
Beware. His standard is his emotions and his love of self. In ancient times, Defensiveness stood in the waters of baptism and cried out in a loud voice, “Emotion is Lord!” And to that lord he still bows, constantly, craftily protecting your pride!
Defensiveness can be tamed! There is a secret move you can use to escape his grasp and bring him under Godly control. The trick? Be open. The wicked form of Defensiveness can not live in the light! Light makes him wither and morph! He hates humility. Report his presence. Alert your partners. He is trying to gain a foothold in their hearts as well! Above all, always remember, you personally have nothing to defend.
Your mission is exploration and discovery, not attack and defense. The ground we want to gain and the attack we want to press, is toward greater understanding and wisdom. Sometimes a better victory is found in a very unexpected place.
The Best Victories
Greater victory is often gained when I willingly surrender my most cherished stronghold to your gentle, logical, reasonable presentation of truth. It comes when you win my heart because of your patience… maybe even more than your postulation. With this kind of victory comes new insight into scripture and a retirement of old positions. This victory reveals a new understanding of a truth to which I was previously blind. It comes because you courted me, you didn’t brute-force your way into gaining my agreement.
Let’s have an argument where our greatest competition is attempting to out-do each other’s humility, as demonstrated in our willingness to listen carefully, not only to the facts of the matter but the heart of the matter too. Let us have a humility that is willing to ask the questions like those of a sincere, genuine seeker; a humility which always says, “I am open to the possibility that I could be wrong.”
Let’s Be Wrong
Our common love for Jesus allows us to enter into some of the most challenging dialogs without fear of failure or the possibility of injury. Our discussions are designed to propel us into rethinking our positions. Let’s agree that if we are not open to the possibility that we could be wrong, God ought not teach us anything new… and probably won’t because we think we have already arrived. Oh, how we forfeit the grace which could be ours when we so arrogantly think we have arrived!
Arguments echoing from the pit of pride prevent God’s grace from pouring out into our lives. Once we are stuck in the muck of pride, it is often the only thing we can find to sling. The stench fills our nostrils and sickens our soul. When we get all dogmatic and stuck in the muck of pride, we stop growing. If we are not learning, we are not growing. If we are not growing, we are dying. Who wants to be in that position? There’s not much excitement in a casket, is there?
Be a Kid!
As we begin, let’s purpose to live dynamic, vibrant, curiosity filled lives, like little children! This is why we embrace the argument, because we are curious and eager to learn. This is why A Faith that Obeys was established… to open a public dialog and debate about the Traditional Plan of Salvation and other issues which will wonderfully sidetrack us from time to time. We are inviting all believers with a Christian world view to join the discussion… to join the argument!
Join the Argument
Naturally, everyone is welcome to join, but you gotta know… this discussion centers around traditional Christian doctrines and practices. If you are an observer of our Christianity, please be patient with us. We have lots of issues! Historically, this one, The Plan of Salvation, has been a tumultuous and contentious debate. Now, acridity is not the framework for our discussions nor will it be welcomed here. Let’s have a spirited, lively and loving discourse. We are not perfect, but we press on toward that goal.
The goal of A Faith that Obeys is to keep us alive by keeping us growing. Never give up. Never give in. Never think we have arrived.
Together, let’s keep striving for A Faith that Obeys!