Dialog or Debate

Today is Sunday. We have been up since early morning and off to church at 8am.  Early service and Sunday School are my obligations, but my husband has the late service also on his agenda.  Then we had our monthly “Order of St. Luke” ministry meeting.  This group is about 20+ strong and we pray for people for healing on Sundays after communion in a side chapel.  Those who are sick in either body, mind or spirit.  Luke was a physician, thus the name; but Jesus is the Healer of all our ills and the Redeemer of all our sin. We are also the pastoral care staff for this church which is unusual.  The pattern we had seen in one other place, is they only prayed for people.  In this group, we actually go out of our way to minister healing to people outside the actual church building.  We go to the hospitals, nursing homes, send get well and thinking of you cards, make phone calls to the home bound and very ill, take out communion and also coordinate some meals temporarily for families who have just had a baby or has had a member pass away, or very ill. I see everyone of those activities as a very viable part of the “Healing Ministry”.  Jesus fed the 5000+, the 4000+, He cared for the children, the lame, the sick, the dead and those who were surviving.  We are doing, what I pray is a healthy part of healing those around us each day.

We have been studying a book called “Care of Souls” by David Benner for about a year and today we came across these words, dialog or debate. As Christians we give up our right to judge a situation according to our opinion. If we hold to our opinion, we ‘own’ it.   My mother-in-law has this great saying…”it ain’t my baby and I ain’t gonna’ rock it”. It holds true, but if we are just babysitting we still must rock the baby, we just don’t own it. Since I have been writing, I see how difficult it is to let someone else “edit” or “rock my baby”.  I own it and don’t want it changed or altered, but if it is going to be really well done, sometimes I need a second and a third pair of eyes. It has often gone to more than that.

Now for “dialog and debate”.  If we own our opinion we will debate.  If Jesus is in us, the Holy Spirit will dialog with wisdom through us.  Those closest to us, family and work environment can drag us into the debate, but Jesus did not debate, He had a dialog, with the Disciples, the Religious leaders, and even the Political rulers. Although He confronted our sin, He did so with a dialog, not a debate.  Do not be ‘baited’ into a debate.  Don’t own it, don’t rock it and don’t do it.  Every apologist worth their salt can dialog and make the points without confrontational verbiage.  I think about C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton and Blaise Pascal, their famous quotes are dialog and although pointed and make their point, not confrontational. Today Ravi Zacharias is one that comes to mind, very bright, but not a bit argumentative.

Jesus said that the things He did we would do.  One thing He did not do is argue His point. He had nothing to prove…the only thing we need to prove is that we are doing the will of the Father.  We can have an opinion, but we must not own it. Our defense of the Gospel must be in our posture.

If you want to discuss this ‘dialog or debate’, we can have a nice discussion, this is just my opinion. I could own it and fight to vindicate my position, but my first and foremost obligation to you my reader is to show forth Christ in my attitude, my words and my very visible actions in front of a watching world.

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