I came across a video “Can scientists and religious leaders see eye to eye?” on a channel called Jubilee. The interesting thing about Jubilee is that they bring about people with difference stances and backgrounds to discuss different issues in a casual and entertaining format.
For this topic, they featured a monk, a pastor and a rabbi. I thought that this was extremely well handled as everyone in the video could hold conversations about their beliefs without arguing or being aggressive. They listened to one another and the pastor even knowledge the past experiences of one of the scientist It taught me that as a Christian, I don’t necessarily have to be aggressive with my beliefs. Overall, it was an enlightning watch and I think we could all learn something from it.
However, as I watched the video, I was thinking that though the pastor was extremely Christ like and loving in character, I do wish he could have expounded more on theology and was hoping for factual answers, which did not come. But suprisingly, many of the comments praised the pastor and how he handled the conversations.
It got me thinking, did they like him just because he was loving and did not say anything particularly controversial? Was it just me who expected a stronger stance on his beliefs? Perhaps I was too used to receiving theologically indepth answers that I’m not used to more passive aporoach in ‘debate’. I’ve read comments saying “It’s beautiful and good to believe in what you do, but not when you’re asking others to do the same.” I’m sure that there’s a time and place for different approaches and that this pastor has probably considered that as well.
Nonetheless, to what extent should we as Christians love others passively, and when do we risk upsetting people with our beliefs for the sake of the biblical truth? I think this is important to talk about especially when it comes to friends and family.
Hi @kiko ,
I am really looking forward to learning from the wisdom others have to share on this topic. As I watched the video, I was struck by how different the starting points of everyone were and the sincerity with which the beliefs were held. I wonder if a well crafted argument from the pastor would have even helped, given the setting with limited time. Perhaps his goal was to just reflect Christ in attitudes and keep the other participants open to Christianity. With such diversity of beliefs, I thought how great must be our dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit for anyone to come to Christ. We would need much prayer to discern what the wise thing to do is in each situation ( Col 1:9-10)
I reflected on my own experience and looked through scripture to see if there are general guidelines we could go by. Here are a few verses that I thought may be helpful and give some principles to keep in mind-
James 3:18 Gospel is to be sown in peace
James 3: 17 Wisdom of God must be open to reason and is impartial. This would mean those we are trying to reach must feel valued and feel no coercion.
Eph 4:29 Speak only what brings grace to the listener.
Acts 4:17-21 Are we trying to please men or God? Are we speaking from convictions or are we just speaking something we dont even grasp?
James 4:6 Do we sense an openness and humility toward God? Are there any smoke screens like certain presumptions to clear before presenting truths?
1 John 3:18 We need to share our love in deed and truth.
While it may be good to spend time studying ready to defend the gospel, God works in unforeseen ways to turn hearts toward Him.
Thanks for asking the question. Was good to reflect on it.
Hi Lakshmi, thank you for your response! I definitely thought about the timing too, there probably wasn’t much time given, yet so many questions😓
I thought this was really important, sometimes as christians we feel obligated to give an answer. I’m personally terrified of misleading people due to my lack of knowledge, but you said below, perhaps an answer from us is not always necessary. God could use different ways and his timing to turn people to him, it is never only our responsibility.
Knowing this, I think we can more freely share the gospel with grace, knowing that it is through Christ and not us🙏
I think as devout Believers, sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. In a setting like what you’re describing in this video(I have not watched it yet) in my opinion, a very gentle and high-level response is appropriate. We seek deeper answers because we have been walking in truth and light long enough to know the difference between deep and shallow. But as Paul exhorts in Scripture, babies need to be fed milk, but adults and grownups can have the meat. Though they may be at meat level and their own faith and belief systems, they’re only milk level in conversations about Christ. When I’m talking to my twelve-year-old, I have to keep the conversation at his level. Not because he’s unintelligent or not curious, but because he’s just not ready for some of what I am ready to share with him. I like the answer given above with all of the scriptures reminding us to come at people gently, and to have an open heart and mind and know who we are talking to.