Society today has a huge problem. People are constantly bombarded with assumptions that have been turned into facts and confusions that have been turned into directions. We see it daily in our lives even when we do not notice it. So many have been manipulated into false beliefs that a shield has formed over their hearts and their intellect that is extremely difficult to pierce. That doesn’t mean that we should stop trying. We have to keep going even if it seems impossible.
It is understandable to want to debate about the truths of the Bible. Whether we do it out of caring, in hopes of changing a life, or through a base desire to prove that we’re right and they’re wrong, the urge to go head to head with an atheist, agnostic, or believer in a false god can be overwhelming. We must answer questions internally before engaging in any debate:
- Will winning the debate have a positive effect on the individual or persons listening?
- Will losing the debate in their eyes mean that further damage was done?
- Is the person you’re about to debate in a position where they can be shown the truth or are they simply wanting to go at it for intellectual satisfaction?
I will go over the importance of these questions in the next part of this series. It’s daunting when you consider that these are souls at stake. There’s no prize for winning a debate of this magnitude but the consequences can be deadly.
Here, I’d like to explore a few concepts surrounding debating versus championing in an effort to help others find the way that best fits what the Will of God has in store for them. Because the topic is such a large one, there will be multiple parts to this article written over the next week.
Pray First, As Always
I am a man. I am not a prophet. I am not qualified in any way to give anyone advice about what they should do with their lives and I would suggest that nobody on the planet is qualified, either. There are those who are able to point to a path, but every path is dark and requires illumination. The only illumination comes from God Himself. It is for this reason that prayer, discernment, and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit are the only ways to walk down any path in life without stumbling in the darkness.
What is to come in this article are ideas that have come to my mind written based upon an urge I am feeling. They may or may not help you find the path but regardless of what I or anyone else says, the only true authority in your life must be God. Pray, read the Bible, and feel where He is guiding you.
With that said…
My Personal Crossroad
To get an understanding of what brought me here (and perhaps what brought you to this article), it’s important to know some of the background.
For me, this is a personal battle that I struggle with constantly. One part of me begs to debate, to take from the research that has proven with crystal clarity in my heart and mind that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, that evolutionary concepts are absolutely ludicrous when you truly explore them deeply, that there is an evil force conspiring to sway the masses towards the path to oblivion, and that the wonders of the Creation are abundantly apparent to the point that I want to physically shake people sometimes when they simply do not see it.
The other part of me realizes that these types of debates can end poorly even when one “wins” the debate. They can alienate people further from their Lord and Savior. It’s times like these that I want to be inspired to be a champion for the Bible rather than one who debates it with non-believers. Each of us is called upon to do things in our lives. As much as I enjoy a good intellectual debate (not to mention that I feel I might be better suited for such a task than others I’ve heard debate), I am still being pushed every day to learn to be a champion instead.
The Roles of the Debater and the Champion
It’s important to understand the distinctions between the two roles. Both have similarities. A champion needs to be able to answer questions as readily as a debater, though without the benefit of argument. The debater needs to have the passion of the champion but cannot let that passion taint the facts. Both roles have thin lines that cannot be breached or there’s a chance of losing the very people you’re trying to help.
The debater’s role is to establish the facts that contradict the teachings of man. He or she has to take what true science has taught us and shine a spotlight on the improper conclusions that have been plaguing schools, the media, and conversations around the world for decades. We’re at a tipping point of knowledge. It’s a time when the facts are starting to point clearly towards a Biblical worldview. Unfortunately, a combination of Satan-induced blindness and improper handling of the facts by believers has made the arguments for a Biblical worldview harder to articulate properly. The debater must correct the errors of past debaters as well as the machinations of the evil ones who have confused the facts, veiling them with popularity rather than intellectual fortitude.
The champion’s role is to live an exemplary life and to emulate the qualities that make people want to “know their secret”. It sounds almost devious, but it is not. A champion is one who unabashedly proclaims Jesus as Lord and Savior, who walks through this life with a purpose that points squarely towards the next life (not to be confused with a Purpose Drive Life that focuses on being a good person in this world). They must do the things that are proper without personal gratification or acknowledgement from anyone at all. When they give to charity, they must not make a fuss of it. When they talk about the Gospel, they must do so with as much pureness of heart as is possible in our sinful human form. It’s not about being a loud public spectacle but one who can walk through life almost completely unnoticed by anyone other than those who are truly looking closely enough. The champion is, unfortunately, a contradiction in many ways. I’ll explain more about that in the next part of this series.
Pray. Always. I will be continuing this series later in the week, covering topics such as “Debating Skills Versus Championing Skills”, “Reading Into Their Questions”, and “Biblical Symbols Turned Assunder”. In the meantime, keep praying and trying to discern what the Holy Spirit is compelling you to do in your life.
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(This article is part of the Compassion and Fear Series)