Tough Questions for Christians March 15 Devotional
by David Joynt on March 15, 2023
JOHN 16:7-11 | 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
One of the most urgent questions in our culture concerns moments of disagreement. How can I honor your beliefs without sacrificing mine or embracing a fuzzy relativism? I think scripture supports four key ways to do this. First, don’t pretend there is agreement when there is real difference! We honor someone's real convictions by acknowledging the contrasts with our own. Muslims and Christians disagree about the nature and will of God in certain ways, for instance. Jesus never ignored differences and was unafraid to point them out. Secondly, defend the right of others to have contrasting views. Free speech and thought is foundation for faith and democracy. The test of both is how we treat these with whom we disagree. Jesus also never silenced opponents! Thirdly, always remember our fundamental equality as human beings, made in God’s image, and our shared reality as broken people in need of grace. Finally, engage and listen in a way that honors these first three beliefs.
Notice the role of the Holy Spirit, here called the Advocate, in helping us discern truth.
Why is our culture so fearful of real debate?
Help me disagree without being disagreeable. Let my light shine without blinding others. Keep me salty and flavorful.
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