I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again… If there’s one thing that make my socks curl in a church setting, it’s when a seeker in need of an applicable answer to a sincere question for belief, is met with a lazy and un-engaging “Just take it all on Faith.” Now an answer like that may satisfy some people but that would carry the assumption that the “Preacher man with the white-collar knows what he’s talking about because he’s well versed in the word and all sorts of theology. Thus we won’t question him.” That’s pretty big to assume in any setting. Not that faith isn’t a huge part of the equation BUT as believers in Christ, we must do a better job in dialogue to aptly showcase reasonable conclusions for that faith. An answer like this signifies you either don’t have time to discuss it or ill-equipped to engage it. Now I don’t believe you have to be a scholar in this instance but I do believe you must engage and apply your belief through practice and constant study for a much deeper conclusion. Again that short answer may work for some…but definitely not for a skeptic who’s rolling their eyes with that kind of reply. For me, it also lacks conviction and respect for that person’s interests.
On the flip side, now being a skeptic of the skeptic, I’ve seen all too many times folks trying to debunk my belief (in recent posts) with another lazy rebuttal of “well everyone and everyone knows because science has disproved.” Hmmm really? Everyone knows? Everyone agrees with you, you say? And you just happen to know everyone? Interesting. Oh, and I tend to disagree on the notion of “disproval” but that’s a discussion for another time. But again, its un-engaging and arrogantly stated if only to sidestep any kind of real dialogue regarding the matter. It’s another form of contempt for ones views and unwillingness to respectfully engage. And it’s in that dialogue (In my own experiences with those who do engage) that I find out immediately what people truly know or think they know and what they assume I don’t know or what I in fact do know. Read that again if you must. Once that’s established, the bravado that first prompted such a statement slowly falls away exposing someone in need of purpose and belonging. But hey, don’t we all? But a comment like that also makes the assumption that “the man in the white lab coat to be infallible and mistake free in their assertions and research.” SO to that, we dare not question him…he knows what he’s talking about. And thus we put our faith in him just like “they” do with the man in the white-collar.
Different starting and ending points painted with the same broad, generalized strokes.
But if history has shown us anything, for anyone willing to acknowledge it, it’s this; both proselytizer’s of their indiscriminate faith have been found wrong in some of their fundamental assertions and many times guilty of inserting their narrow-minded philosophies to explain (or explain away) a much larger and glorious world. Trying to encase something as magnificent as an infinite God or the majesty of this world and her sister planets within a deducible box for our understanding, undermines the beauty and complexity of both. And rather than be in awe of it we sadly look to ourselves as above such wonderment belittling the miraculous that stares us in the face each waking day. We do that because we’re too busy acting like “know it all’s” standing on the shoulders and echoing the sermons and lectures of the men in white whose particular ideologies cater to our chosen worldviews.
And so we continue to stand on the sidelines, pretending to be objectionable observers while pointing fingers and mocking the team across the field. But I must ask how objectionable are we truly willing to be when engaging in the arena of ideas? Are you willing to learn something new about another’s perspective if only to allow you to perhaps grow in yours? Can it be done with true respect and love for your opponent? And finally, are you willing to view your opponent as your brother and your sister? And if you can do that, that’s when the Christ is lived out through you.
It’s gotta start somewhere. So start by doing away with lazy, regurgitated mindless rebuttals and with a sincere heart to share, understand, and learn… properly engage.
Your Puerto Rican Deacon