This is another aside post that is somewhat linked to the previous one. In that post I discussed how I replied to some fellow Christians Facebook comments about how it was not the government’s job to take care of the poor. These Christians admitted, but it seems not many of them do, that it is the church’s job to do that. I then went on to agree with them fully. I’m sure they were surprised with my agreement. But I then went on to say since the church presently only takes care of about three percent of the need the government must step in to fill this enormous gap. At the conclusion of that post I mentioned that I hope I planted a small thought in their hearts.
That got me to thinking about all the arguments and such between our political parties. Each party seems to think that somehow they can turn their advocate around if they could just win this discussion or make that particular statement. They think that somehow they can cause a person to flip on a dime with their world views.
This type of logic is not limited to politics; it also occurs frequently in our cross-denominational struggles with the Christian church. There are currently about 39,000 different versions of Christianity out there. Each one is convinced that they are right and everyone else just has it wrong in one way or another. Many are convinced if they can just quote the right Bible verse then their opponents will give up their current way of being a Christian and join them.
Disregarding the overall premise of these examples the logic of a quick “win” is, at least in my mind a faulty conclusion. Once a person has it in his/her mind that their party/church/way of life is the correct one it is almost impossible to get them to change their minds. The only thing that we can hope to do is to give them a little nudge in the direction you want them to head. Then over the years enough nudges might get them to re-think what the previously thought to be untrue.
You can’t change a Tea Party Republican into a moderate one let alone a Democrat by winning one or even many arguments. But if you can put a small thought in their mind that their current way of thinking lacks something maybe eventually they will eventually come around. If you can plant a seed in a Christian who believes that his version of Christianity is without error maybe she/he will eventually look at those words of Jesus in a different light than the spin they have been taught.
Except for a few very very rare occurrences these things just don’t happen overnight. They take a long stream of nudges to make them happen. When we realize that fact we will treat our opponents, although we will come to know that they are not really opponents, in a different light. Remember the secret to this is nudges not insults or rants….