I see a lot of arguments online. Arguments about everything from God, to politics, to global warming, to the dangers of diet soda. People tend to choose their side and stand their ground against all attackers. Sometimes this is done through logical arguments. More often, it’s done by attacking and insulting those on the “other side” so we can feel superior and justified in disregarding without consideration anything they say. After all, there’s no need to listen to an idiot, a racist, a homophobe, a socialist, a misogynist, or whatever the appropriate derogatory label is for the “other side.” It seems we’re only interested in scoring points for our side.
Far too often, what gets lost in all this is the search for truth. I want my beliefs to accurately reflect reality. This includes my beliefs about God. If I am wrong about what I believe, I want to know. This is not to say I’d take my beliefs lightly. I do not. I have what I believe to be very good reasons for my beliefs about God, which include Scripture, personal experience, philosophy, history and science. While I’m sure I don’t have every detail right, and there’s a lot I make no claim to understand, I’m pretty confident I’m correct on the major points. It would take quite a bit to convince me otherwise. But if I am wrong, I want to know.
I find this perspective to be incredibly freeing. I don’t have to be afraid that someone will challenge my beliefs or present an argument I can’t counter. If someone can show me where I’m wrong, I’ll be grateful.
I’m not saying we should blindly follow whatever ideas sound good. As Ephesians 14:14 warns, we must not be “tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching” or “influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Instead, I’m encouraging us to think critically, and examine our beliefs, as well as opposing viewpoints.