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Tuesday July 23, 2024
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Prove Me Wrong

Many today would say that the stereotypes of the past have all changed rapidly and dramatically.
Even with the race-baiting, cancel-culture types trolling us endlessly and telling us we are no better today than in the past (and in their eyes, most assuredly worse), reasonable people simply do not see us a nation devolving once again into Archie Bunker warmed over lookalikes.
Splitting us into tribes and groups works well for advertisers and anarchists, but we truly have more in common than not and most of us know it.
That is except for one tribe.
There is one area, in particular, that a stereotype still exists; traditional Christians are close-minded.
The presumed evidence? Christians are a check-your-brains-at-the-door people who scarcely know their own doctrines and documents and further foist upon society a set of unenlightened rules that even they cannot follow. What is worse, they are viewed as too narrow-minded to be worthy of any platform or validation.
However, is it true? Are Christians so backward and ingrown as to merit out of hand dismissal?
Increasingly, I find that people of faith are more willing to wrestle with their beliefs and rationales regarding theology and politic. And what I also find ever more prevalent is the unwillingness of society writ large to give one side of the debate stage to Christians.
People of faith are not the only voices being drummed out. In fact, any person or group that opposes group think is at risk of being disinvited to the conversation. Thus, there is ultimately no conversation, only propaganda and indoctrination.
But those who are in this situation will have to fend for themselves. Believers have plenty of surrounding armies of their own to battle.
To be sure, lots of Christians have a singular trust in God and do not desire to have a protracted and disquieting deep dive into the origins and history of their faith. It is not cultism; it is simply following a long pattern of familial tradition and dogmas. In other words, the matter is settled and now it is important to act it out. It is the difference between wanting to know why we use a Christmas tree each year versus simply enjoying the sentimentality of it.
So, yes, I guess one could say that a certain close mindedness exists with some in the religious realm.
As I said, though, my feeling is that more and more people of faith are themselves not only wrestling with God but have an openness to reason with others. I say wrestle in the most positive light.
For these believers, the invitation from God seems to be, come let us reason together.
If there is a God, it seems in his design that we are welcomed into the conversation, not excluded. After all, could the true God be stumped by our inquiries? Additionally, I doubt an ad hominem attack would be necessary to quiet us nor would it be good form.
The point is this—and this is for both sides. Stereotypes exist because there is some measure of reality in them. I believe, however, that the pendulum of blind faith is more on the side opposing Christianity than on the side of it.
But, hey, prove me wrong. I am willing to listen.
Kent Simmons is the pastor of Canyon Community Church in Kingman, AZ.