So, have you won a religious argument lately?
I have not. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and I have an aversion to strife. There are probably times when I should speak up, but I just don’t want the consequences.
We live in contentious times, with issues like Climate Change, COVID, war in places like Ukraine, and what did I leave out? … maybe religion and evolution, or sexual orientation.
If you are religious, you believe something. I am a Christian, and what I am, includes many things that I am not. What I believe includes things that I don’t believe. If I am everything, I am nothing. The old joke for young church women in a church to say “We don’t smoke, and we don’t chew, and we don’t date the boys who do!”
That is a very old joke.
If you want to see a political argument mixed with religion, here is a good example:
I don’t know the political topic, but the speaker is very articulate. It is easy to disagree with some of her ideas, but she is a very effective communicator. When you watched the video, when did you agree, and when did you disagree?
Comedians can also argue about religion:
We live in a time of mass communication, with the Internet and the spread of one language, English, around the world. I was a teacher at a university to help foreign students with their academic English skills. They could not get a university education without help from people like me. My classes were always full, and I was not concerned about unemployment.
We are rushing into one world, with a few modern ideas, communicated to us all. Brace yourself. Different ideas will not be tolerated.
So, how do people argue now? What if my ideas, or yours, make someone else angry? You probably know the feeling.
If you are a Christian, like me; get ready for the arguing, and get ready to lose. Some of us are going to take a beating. Remember, we follow someone who lost the argument and was executed.
Here is how to win a religious argument:
- Don’t argue. The Spirit of God is the great persuader.
- If you can’t escape, read the communication from the other side.
We are told, in the Bible “We know what it means to fear the Lord, and so we try to persuade others. God knows us completely.” (2 Corinthians 5:11) We ‘persuade’ but if we are not believed by other people, God knows who we are. We are not popular in popular culture.
If you find yourself losing a religious argument, there are four things to know:
- There might be some logic in the conversation. There are people who think and reason about ideas. … but you won’t see that very often.
- There might be emotion in the argument. Comedians make us laugh. Do you want to stand in front of an audience that is laughing at you? I don’t. People can also be made angry or sad, and you could be the target of their feelings.
- There might be non-verbal posturing. This is the man with the big hat argument. Imagine being well groomed, sitting at a special desk, with microphones and perfect lighting. Politicians do this all the time. They look important when they speak.
- When nothing else works, we can be threatened. Are you ready to lose your job, or get banned from an Internet outlet? We can be censored, and that is almost like being a criminal.
And here is how to win a religious argument: Believe.
The only persuasion that matters is in you. Everyone decides for themselves. Jesus told us “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7: 5) He added these words “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” (verse 6)
That is harsh.
Where I live, we have a political argument about who should lead us, and the arguments are posturing and emotion. Important people stand at a microphone on a large and impressive stage and shout emotional slogans. The word ‘unity’ gets repeated. It is frustrating to read their bad communication.
The rule is simple: If they make the rules, you don’t play the game. Speak when someone might listen.