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« Common Ground on Abortion: Deadly or Essential? | Main | The Pro-life Vote: Win, Lose or Draw? »

October 08, 2007


For me, what stops me from being super vocal about what I believe (unless I'm asked, which I am a lot for some reason), is a belief (rightly or wrongly) that what I say won't really matter to the person in their mind. It is the whole "post-modernism" thing with "oh well, that's right for you, but not for me." When so many people disregard my belief system as simply a "choice" and not a matter of right and wrong, then is discouraging. Still...I know that that is no excuse to not get back up on the horse again. It's just a matter of doing it.

When someone asks me about what I believe, particularly the things that might be deemed "offensive," I speak freely on it though.

"Winsome" is such a great word. Although the etymology is not the same it makes me think of "win some" as in "win some, lose some." It requires a freedom from pessimism to not think "lose all" so that effort is deemed worthwhile.

Joel brings up a great point. If you have good relationships with people and talk to them respectfully, they will tend to disagree but at least respect you.

But start claiming that something is actually true and factual - whether someone believes it or not - and watch them flip out!

Claiming such a thing is absolutely prohibited in our culture. And if you stick to your guns, you will often find yourself losing friends - even friends that you've known for years, and with whom you have worked hard to develop a good and open relationship. It is absolutely not tolerated. (And this, in a culture where 'tolerance' is supposed to be the highest virtue!)

I know this from experience. I've lost friends that I've known for years, people who knew that I loved them and that I thought loved me too. People *do not* want to hear truth. Of any sort.

This, Joel, is exactly why Francis Schaeffer said that we need to do more "pre-evangelism" than we normally tend to do when we share our faith (see _The God Who Is There_). Maybe it would be of some help to you to think in these terms when sharing your faith - think of disabusing people of their errant ideas about truth as a way of laying the groundwork for your message to be heard the way you want it to. It is important that they understand first the KIND of claim you are making.

This reminds me of Koukl's relativism speech, the paradox of not tolerating intolerance, judging people for being judgmental, etc. Fear of being offensive to others or being offended and judged by others makes relationships shallow or even totally fake. If you're hesitant to share your beliefs, if you're too ashamed or embarrassed of what you believe to talk about it maybe you need to reexamine what you believe and why you believe it.

I think the reason most people don't share their beliefs is because deep down they know there's something wrong with it, even though they don't want to admit it or haven't consciously realized it. If you have a world view that separates people into "us" and "them" as most religions do, perhaps you should be ashamed to share it, perhaps you should keep your mouth shut.

Steve, any world view separates people into 'us' and 'them' - even if it's the 'us' and 'them' division between those who believe something is true simply if you believe it, versus those who do not subscribe to that view.

My head hurts now.

Not all world views make divisions. Many eastern ways of thinking, like Taoism or Buddhism, accept the mysterious truth that all is one. Yes, divisions are necessary to live in the real world, you would go crazy without using divisions and categories to make judgments and decisions. But you can always step back and realize that all is one, that divisions are illusions. Meditation, contemplation of this fact grants a powerful wisdom. I think this is what the gospel means by the idea that we are all children of God, that we are all brothers and sisters.

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