devotional

Discussion and debate…

Posted on Updated on

Debate-300x336Hi folks, this week we are meeting at the Sportsman in Preston Village at 8.00 pm, if you are able why not join us!

This weeks reflection come from a guest… it’s from Rob Bee the link takes you to his twitter account. Rob is one of my best mates from Harrogate, we go back along way… Enjoy!

A couple of weeks ago I came to Sunday at the Pub, and I’m joining you again this week and bringing my wife with me this time too.  Rob has asked me to write this week’s reflection as part-payment for the board and lodgings that he and Karen are giving us.

I’ve known Rob for more years than I care to admit to (he’s like ones of those lingering colds that you just can’t quite get rid of), and we’ve seen each other through quite a number of good times and bad. Despite the fact that we now live about 150 miles apart he remains one of my closest friends. And yet… And yet it’s still a surprise seeing him when he’s working: it’s Rob, but it’s not quite Rob. The context that I usually see him in is different to his work environment and so my picture of who he is differs from the facet of his personality most on display while he’s working. I know that he would say the same as I’m very organized and efficient when I’m working, and certainly neither of those things any other time.

I really enjoyed Sunday at the pub and am glad to be able to come again. I used to regularly attend small groups and discuss faith, but I don’t get the opportunity to do so any more. I’ve also given up on online Faith forums because after reading them for a while you get the same arguments going round and round and getting personal as the debaters forget that they’re supposed to love each other and they make their disagreements personal. They forget that when we discuss our faith with other believers we meet people who have also met God. But just as when we meet people we meet them in differing circumstances, we meet God with our different backstories and needs, and therefore it’s to be expected that we will see different facets of God’s love and form opinions which are unique to us. Where our picture of God differs wildly from another person’s this can lead to disagreement and distrust (this is true not only of those within in the Christian community, but also of those of different faiths – whether God has a capital ‘G’ or not in those cases is down to your picture of God).  The thing is though, that none of us have come to our position of faith lightly and there is always a reason why we have come to the conclusion about God that we have. Our faith is hard-won and an essential part of our being; it won’t be easily shaken by name-calling and heated argument. We all have a picture of God and a duty to Love each other. So when you’re faced with someone who holds a position you abhor, instead of quoting scripture and telling them why they’re wrong (not that I think you would do that), take a deep breath and ask them why they believe what they believe. You may learn something.

Questions

1. 1 Corinthians 1:10 says “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”  And Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Doesn’t that mean we should all think the same way? Is there such a thing as Absolute Truth?

2.How valuable do you find discussion and disagreement?

3.What if Westboro Baptist Church are right?

4.Is there one particular event in your life that’s particularly shaped your picture of God?

5. Whose round is it?