Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ideas that challenge

By popular demand (one person said I should put this on my blog) here is my presentation given at the mens ministry breakfast:

What can I say that will challenge you in your lives as Christian men.

Do we really want to be challenged?

I have found that people look at things from the perspective of what they already believe.

Example: When we hear a sermon that we agree with we think that it is a good positive devotional sermon. But if the message is one we have never heard before or something new we may tend to think of it as being negative or controversial.

It is a matter of perspective. There are two important things we have to remember.

1. We carry in us ideas that we don’t know we have and

2. We don’t know what we don’t know. Because if we don’t know it we can’t recognize our ignorance. We may know categories of things we don’t know such as I don’t know Inorganic Chemistry and pretty much nothing past rudimentary math.

An Interesting Quote Franz Werfel says: Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.

Of course the answer is not to restrict ideas it is to counter ideas with better ideas. You family of course is not the enemy but they will challenge your ideas. So why not challenge your ideas first so that you won’t be defensive when your ideas are challenged?

And they will be challenged and they should be challenged.

As Alfred Whitney said:

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom…

Take time to seek wisdom because it is the best thing we can offer our families and our fellow man.

I think God expects our pursuit of Him to be involved with challenging our previous conceptions. Isn’t that what repentance is all about, and we really never stop learning in life and in our pursuit of God.

After the presentation there was a little discussion and one of the more traditional men said; To the law and the testimony. It always interests me how some see what they want to see in the words of others. Though I did not tell him merely quoting the Bible is not what I mean by better ideas. The Bible is a tool to create better ideas but to merely quote it as if the quote is the truth for all time then we would still be stoning people to death, because that is what some of the commands of the Bible were. Obey God or He will smite you. That is according to the law and the testimony as classically that text is applied. Though the text is not meant to be used the way most fundamentalists use it. It is a statement meant to refer one to God for answers rather then relying on mediums and necromancers. I think God is capable of giving us the better ideas.

(Isa 8:19-20 NIV) When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

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