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Winning Debates About Faith
Sunday, August 04 2013

2 Timothy 2:24-26...

Trying to win debates about faith will not bring many souls to Christ:

A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil's snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.  -2 Timothy 2:24-26, NAB

There will be many times in our lives when we will be called to answer questions about our beliefs, and sometimes, this will turn into debates about faith and religion.  We engage in these battles hoping to change someone's mind yet forget that faith is tied more closely to the heart and soul.

The main problem with this approach is that we are trying to rationalize our faith to someone, but faith requires believing in the irrational.  There is nothing rational about our invisible God.  There is nothing rational about Jesus raising from the dead after three days.  There is nothing rational about the Holy Spirit living and working through us.

In this way, even the greatest theological minds of the Catholic Church began their journey by believing in the irrational.  Their mind may have helped them to develop and strengthen their faith, but it took their heart and soul believing and having faith in Christ to begin the journey.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to win someone's soul, then, by winning debates about faith.  I have spoken about this before, but we cannot effectively evangelize if our only goal is to win an argument.  An argument or debate focuses on our position, whereas evangelization focuses on the other person's position.

Today's verse tells us to stop fighting with people of other beliefs.  Instead, we need to reach out to them with love and kindness.  Only by gently showing them the beauty of Christ and His Church will we be able to make a difference in their lives.

If we try to win souls to Christ by winning theological debates about faith, we will not have much success.  This is a matter of the mind while faith centers on the heart and soul.  Show the world God's love, grace, and mercy instead, and you will be amazed at the results.

 

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