Should we Debate?

Our Fear of Debate

Personally, I hate to argue, and I think the average Christian wants to spread the faith by making friends and loving people into the kingdom of God. Muslim markets are filled with shouting, and haggling over prices is expected. In the US, however, the customer is king, prices are accepted, and kind people “pay it forward”. Not so long ago, political parties worked together, different denominations participated in Billy Graham crusades, and mission efforts were expanding around the world. In hindsight, our propensity to be nice to everyone may be the reason that everything from Marxism to furries has invaded our culture and Christians are forced to defend their faith closer and closer to home. We dropped the ball.

The Christian History of Debate

The modus operandi of Marxism and its dialectic is to create conflict by mob rule to promote change. What is the modus operandi of Christianity? Search the Scriptures. Israel was born as a nation because God hardened Pharoah’s heart, and Moses faced off against him with only a shepherd’s staff. God made Ezekiel’s face like flint so that he could speak truth to rebellious Israel. Peter, Stephen, and Paul gave speeches that “turned the world upside down”. Jesus made such strong statements that people tried to stone him and throw him off a cliff. The message was often as simple as “repent” or “Jesus is risen”, but it was always God’s message for the moment.

When Debate Died

Pat and I have been reading the book Unwoke by Ted Cruze. The Cruze family came out of Communist Cuba, and Ted was a top debater at Princeton. At that time, debaters could objectively argue either side. Our world has changed. Cruze contends that Marxism has used mob intimidation to introduce cancel culture in its “long walk through the institutions”: education, the news media, corporations, Hollywood, social media, etc. For instance, in 2018, Ken Ham was uninvited from speaking and the University of Central Oklahoma because his views on marriage offended the LGBTQ community. Conservative views are no longer allowed. Yes, Jesus was crucified by cancel culture, but later the world was turned upside down because his disciples could not help but speak up about the things they had seen and heard. So, there’s hope.

Debate on Campus

My views on debate changed when I took classes in the humanities department of the University of Central Oklahoma. One class used a book by Bart Ehrman, the foremost critic of the historical Jesus, as its text. It’s shocking that the class “New Testament Humanities” would be taught by a non-Christian writer. Christian students were present, but the teacher and teaching were against the Christian faith, and they had the last word. I have recently joined a young man named Travis to do outreach at UCO. I’m encouraged to work with students on campus, but I would really like to confront the teachers about their unbelief. I am especially praying about an opportunity to speak with the teacher of archeology about creation and the Flood. He’s not going to come to me, so I have to go to him.

Debate in Churches

Churches are the tip of the spear, but the tip has gone dull. I’m thinking about the subject of origins. Christian experts stopped confronting evolution around 1850, which was The Great Turning Point. Tremendous new scientific evidence has surfaced in the last few years to support a young earth, but churches are afraid of debate. Fundamentalists have “circled the wagons” and have resorted to homeschooling. Other churches welcome all four major viewpoints: young earth, progressive creationism, theistic evolution, and intelligent design. Churches should seriously debate these viewpoints within themselves, because “churches will judge the angels”. I have talked with my pastors and pastors around me to let them know that they have a responsibility to keep their people informed. Informed churches can change the world. I encourage ongoing, respectful discussions.

Simplifying Debate

JCRL. That’s my motto. Jesus: Creator, Redeemer, and Lord. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Jesus created everything, died and rose again to redeem it, and is thus Lord of all. There’s nothing to argue about. It’s settled forever. When I say debate, I mean “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). “Imaginations” is an interesting word because it involves every thought that a person can imagine, as opposed to what God has told us by revelation. Jesus is Lord, and all the crazy ideas from academia to social media need to be confronted and cast down by means of debate.

2 thoughts on “Should we Debate?

  1. Hi, I just read a book about the rebuilding of the second temple and how God freed the Israelites from captivity so that they could return to Israel to rebuild the temple. They started building in direct obedience to God but things of the world made them stop. Fear, compliancy to Pagan ways, not wanting to upset the Samaritan’s. 20 years passed in disobedience to God until 2 men spoke loud and clear what God wanted them to know. Prophet’s of God who had the courage. We must obey God and his word. We must have faith in God and to be in this world not of this world.
    Thank you for your courage to stand firm with God.

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