I fear that it truly may be. Outside of the academic world (including professors, philosophy majors, and select others), there seem to be so very few people who are able to engage in calm, edifying, rational discussion or debate on issues, where there may or may not be major differing of opinions. Why is that such a tall order?

Why does the general church community in the Western world tend to ignore the part of the verse that commands us to love God with our minds as well? Why is it a social faux pas to think “outside the box” (and not in the cool, non-threatening way, but in the radical uncomfortable way)? I am forever trying to discuss things and find that so many people are just not interested or able to engage in rational discussion of some issues, such as pacifism, the church, or social justice. Those types of issues are not comfortable for most people. I have been told that I can come on strong when in these discussions, and I have worked on my delivery for years now. I take to heart 1 Peter 3:15- “Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. I have slowly learned how to say things in a calm and rational way, and yet I cannot speak with less conviction than what I have. I have been told that to speak with such conviction is offensive to people (this is people in the Christian community I’m talking about). Apparently it is offensive because I am presenting my opinions as if I am right. This frustrates me to no end, because the way I see it… why would I have an opinion, unless I think it is right? Who in their right mind believes something to be true that they also think could very well be false? (I also get really passionate about discussing issues and believe that it needs to be done far more than it is).

At the risk of offending, as I seem to be so good at, I would venture to say that our Western world has been so incredibly impacted by the recent revolution of tolerance, that even Christians are afraid to stand up and say that truth is NOT relative. Many have been sucked in to believing that it is improper (at best) and sinful (at worst) to claim truth on any issue.

Now I know that many people out there would say that we can never really know the truth, because we have limited human knowledge, etc. But I would contend that God created us with critical minds with the ability to reason. Of course we cannot know all truth, only God is omniscient. However that does not mean that we cannot know ANY truths. I know for example that Jesus Christ is Lord. It’s not a matter of “I think He’s Lord, but I’m really not sure, and I’m totally open to other opinions, just so I don’t offend anyone”. No. “I know He’s Lord like I know that the sun rose this morning”. I am sure.

Just to clarify, I do not think that knowing truth is the only important aspect of being a Christian, nor do I think that it is sufficient for “getting into heaven”. Nonetheless that does not negate the importance of it. I think that a relationship with Christ needs a balance of the heart, mind, and soul.

I’m still learning, still on the road… waiting for Christ to return and take me home.

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