Bible Bashing

I was a missionary in Chile for 2 years from ’97 – ’99. I went because I truly believe that the religion I belong to is true and I wanted to share the ‘good news’ with others. I learned a lot of things about life and looking back, I can see how my experiences there have shaped almost every aspect of my life and life views.

As a missionary, it was our objective to invite people to learn about what we believe and what makes our religion different. There are so many different people in this world and so many different religions. South America is predominately Christian, so most everyone already had a belief in Jesus Christ. Almost everyone I talked to believed in the Bible, as we do. Their belief in the Bible made it easier to teach those willing to listen and learn about us because we could teach them right out of their own scriptures about the gospel.

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One thing I never did was Bible bash. I don’t think it works. You can fight all day with the Bible and even if you do end up proving your point, you will never make a friend or ally of someone you’ve had contentions with over scripture. It’s a classic lose-lose situation. It was my experience that those not willing to listen just will not listen, no matter what you are offering. And that’s OK. I believe in choice and I respect that. I’m sure I have been in the past and will be in the future stubborn on certain issues.

I want to relate this to politics. There are many things about our current situation that I feel strongly about. Now, I can’t say with as much certainty that my perspective in regard to politics and current affairs is as rock-solid as my faith in my religion. But, I can say that with both my faith and my positions on government, I seek only the truth. I am not vested in any party or movement. If I discover that I am wrong, I change my views. I have done this many times. I don’t think I would get along very well with myself from even 5 years ago. I have gone through many changes and much discovery over the last few years.

I am willing to listen to opposing points of view. I welcome honest political discussion. I think debates are useful. But I will not fight with you. I don’t like to do it and I think it is unproductive.

If you are intellectually honest and your motivations are pure, we can talk… even if we disagree. At the end of the day, we may even agree to disagree. That’s OK. If you or I bring up a point and the other disagrees, let’s talk about it and find out what the truth is together. This is where hopefully honest discussion prevails.

But if you cannot defend or uphold your views in the face of honest questioning, wouldn’t I be dishonest not to question your motivations? If you share the positions of known evil men or theories that have been factually disproven, who wouldn’t be skeptical and wonder why? If you attack me personally or belittle or diminish, I must dismiss you as fundamentally dishonest (at least on the issue at hand) and am forced to conclude you are willing to sacrifice truth in order to “win”.

A personal attack in order to avoid facts and logic is intellectually dishonest. A debate like this can never have a purposeful conclusion and anyone who engages in these Alinsky techniques that have become so popular and accepted, as far as I’m concerned, does not have a solid footing in their side of the issue. The only question at that point is whether they are ignorant, misguided or worst of all, invested in the outcome of a lie.

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