Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Seeing as we have a bit of a explosion of the creation/evolution debate going on, I found this weblog I wrote up mostly from ages ago, but I've added some more detail. I got into another atheist/Christian argument the other day, and I was going to make a weblog entry about all the fallacies that he used against me. For one, he was intent on arguing more on the definitions we used than rather the actual content of what I was arguing. Intellectually dishonest if you tell me. He also said that philosophy is useless in rationalizing an assertion, which I latched on to very quickly. Consequently, he quickly dropped that.
Then in another conversation more recently on facebook on the topic of abortion I got told:
"That is the some of the most ridiculous and insensitive logic I have ever read"
As most of you probably have realised, I am obviously overarching delusional and illogical. Yes. I just replied that comment with: "Cool story bro". I would have said a lot more, but refrained from doing so. What I've realised is that argument with atheists is slightly fruitless, if not in the right frame of mind.
I remember back in the day, I used to be the creationist poster child, mind you, I'm not anymore. I used to and can still defend creationism quite effectively if I tried, which is a lot more effort than I think I can handle. Admittedly I haven’t kept up with the current science issues, ever since I realised how much I sucked at any form of science. I mean, I'm okay at Chemistry, and Physics I just cannot understand. But I started avoiding the mention of creation and evolution in debates because I found the debate becomes more of chase after who is more intelligent (I mean, who can operate google better).
Even here on xanga, there was drama sometime ago with two prominent xangans concerning an apology for Christianity in the world. While I disagreed with the list of apologies immensely, and also the subsequent reply fake-apology from one to another's post. The most disheartening thing was the disintegration of dialogue into a hate session about how they didn’t really like each other. The discussion turned into a fight between 4-year-olds:
“he started it first” “he’s a meanie” “she thinks she is so grownup” “I’m going to pretend I don’t care” “nah nah nah I can’t hear you my hands are in my ears” and bla bla blah was ultimately all I could hear.
The entire purpose of debate, is to better understand yourself what you believe, and subsequently what others think. When what occurs is not a search for the truth, but you’re just searching for someone to hate you have gone off the tracks. It is one thing to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2v.13a) and it is another thing to bash other people for the fun of it to boost your ego. What we should seek to do is, yes, correct each other, but do so out of love and for encouragement to seek God greater. What I find so abhorrent is that it isn’t building up one another but knocking down the kingdom of God.
I am not saying we should all become ecumenical all of a sudden, but on the other hand, I’m not saying that arguing isn’t fortuitous. Love is the important motive, only when the ultimate intention is improving one another and bringing our fellow brothers and sisters closer to God. Perhaps what I’m trying to say is that as Christians we have to the obligation to be determined to illuminate the truth, not who is more intelligent or stronger in our rhetoric. When it is centered around and only on Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone, can be begin to be effective in our argument. When the conversation is not centered around bringing glory and praise to God, how can we expect others to believe what faith we hold in God? After all, our reasoning is going to always seem unwise to the world:
"For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”" 1 Corinthians 3:19 (English Standard Version)
During Bible study today, we were in James 3. We’re still slowly munching away at it, James is such an amazingly powerful book, the book talks a lot about hypocrisy and how we are so easily entrapped in the cycle of legalism while our hearts are not in what we do. One of the examples he uses is the tongue, James talks of how the tongue is so small but has such a profound and destructive effect on the world. How we do we control the tongue? He says that no man can control the tongue, but he says:
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." James 3:17 (English Standard Version)
Only with grace from God can we control what we speak. Notice he says, wisdom from God is open to reason. The original Greek means to be “easy to be make an earnest request”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to agree with it, but rather it talks of accessibility and a catholic nature (not the wrong kind of Catholic). It talks of open minds, but not open so much that they fall out as Ravi Zecharias refers to it. There is a place for debate, but only if it is to build up through exposing error and not tear down one another.
"It's evident you run the show, so let me back down
You take the leading role, and I'll play the background
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I'm sticking to your script, and I'm reading all your signs
I don't need my name in lights, I don't need a starring role
Why gain the whole wide world, If I'm just going lose my soul?
And my ways ain't purified, don't live according to Your Word
I can't endure this life without Your wisdom being heard
So word to every dancer for a pop star
'Cause we all play the background, but mine's a rockstar
Yeah, so if you need me I'll be stage right
Praying the whole world would start embracing stage fright
So let me fall back, stop giving my suggestions
'Cause when I follow my obsessions, I end up confessin'
That I'm not that impressive, matter of fact
I'm who I are, a trail of stardust leading to the superstar"
( lyrics taken from Lecrae, "Background", free download of an Alex Medina remix here)
What are we to be open to reason to? Have we a closed mind to our own ideologies and prejudices or do we have open minds to the Holy Spirit?