Calvary Pastors This post comes from Calvary Chapel Pastors

I’ll admit that I have pet peeves. One is a style of “discussion” that is much like bullying—all talk and no listen. Another is what I call, “I think; therefore, I’m right.” (I may have “borrowed” this, but can’t remember from where.) The two seem to go hand in hand, or should I say “fist in glove.”

A person with these maladies reasons through an issue and comes to a conclusion. And, because he (or she) assumes that this conclusion is tightly reasoned, and, therefore, correct, he believes that it applies to everyone else. Anyone who disagrees is, therefore, wrong.

So, any other viewpoint is not logical, and anyone who believes this wrong idea is stupid or deceived. This is typical in politics. Regarding the religious or spiritual, the opposite of “good” is “evil.”

Here’s the peeve: Is everyone who disagrees with me stupid? Reason doesn’t work that way. People may seem irrational and not want to see my point, but that doesn’t make them stupid or inherently evil.

When we try to convince someone that our views are right, we need the proverbial even playing field. Argumentation must be delivered in an atmosphere of mutual respect and backed by real, honest-to-goodness evidence—reliable statistics or quotes by real authorities.

(Some remember Mr. Coffee, Joe DiMaggio, a famous baseball player, as an expert on coffee makers.)

Or, the reasoning must be according to accepted principles, while acknowledging that God’s thoughts are higher than ours. I know that I’m fallible, fallen, and prone to error…which is not to say that I can’t recognize truth. (The good tree bears good fruit…)

A controversy is an issue that cannot be proven to everyone’s satisfaction, that splits opinions. They’re fun in debate classes because we know we can’t prove one side right and the other wrong. Some biblical doctrines are like that, and the best we can do is agree to disagree.

Wisdom that is truly from God is first “peaceable, gentle…full of mercy…” (James 3:17). It is not the language of intimidation—of the bully.

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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