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As I was brainstorming with Andy the other night on topics to blog about, this one came to mind, and we both sort of face-palmed. Between me forgetting to live tweet the state of the union (as a Christian democrat supporter), and forgetting to blog about the Creation debate, we pretty much struck out on our current events. Though the night of the debate is somewhat foggy to me, having gone to two different band practices and catching the debate 2 hours late over a few beers, I seem to remember telling myself not to go to the social media about it.
I went back and looked at my Facebook wall, messages, emails, twitter feed, G+ feed, and worst of all…Reddit. That’s when I remembered why I didn’t write a blog or live tweet the event. BECAUSE EVERYONE DID!
That’s why DWS stayed out of it. We have never been the kind of show that just likes to talk about what everyone else is talking about, and say the same things as what everyone else says. When I came out of my cocky Calvinist phase, I vowed never to use the phrase “Well John Piper says…” again. So when something like this blows up, I usually try not to comment.
While reading through the social media wars, I realized the big problem with debates….they don’t end. The Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate was not the beginning, but rather a link in the chain of debates that have been going on for darn near two hundred years! And the Creation vs. Evolution debate shows no signs of slowing down. It will live on through social media, on regular media, in formal debates, over the water cooler, and so on and so forth until Jesus comes back. The problem with having this discussion in the form of a debate is that there is no way to find who “Wins.” Do you want to know why I believe this? Because no winner was officially declared.
So was this debate an attempt at getting closer to the truth? Did it really change any beliefs either way? Or was this just a way to get people riled up? Because of the garbage that went around social media over the next week or so, I think it was the latter of the three. This debate confirmed what I have always believed about debates. Nobody cares about becoming right, they care about being right. What I mean is this: apart from a tiny minority, I did not see one tweet, post, comment, email, or anything from a Christian that said “Wow, Bill Nye has a good point. I never thought of that.” It was just the same old rhetoric: “Ken Ham is great” “Bill Nye is wrong” “Science isn’t good enough” “Bill Nye needs Jesus.” Even worse were the atheist tweets. “Ken Ham the illiterate retarded croc hunter that believes the earth was made by magic! What about all the priests that rape little boys?! who created them??? #BS #teamatheist”
The worst part is this: when asked “If shown sufficient evidence which proved that what you believed wasn’t true, would you change your mind?” Both debaters said “No.” So we aren’t really looking to strive toward a deeper understanding of how the earth works or how God created it. We are just trying to make sure the world knows who is right and who is wrong.
I mean, seriously, did anyone watch this debate to learn more about the earth, or did we just watch this to learn new apologetic methods? I originally began writing this post with a nice three points about using what you learn to talk to your unbelieving friends. After thinking this through, I realized that we shouldn’t watch debates for ammo.
Here is my observation about debates. 50 people come in supporting guy #1 and another 50 people come in supporting guy #2. By the end of the debate, 50 people leave still supporting guy #1, and the other 50 leave supporting guy #2. There were perhaps five undecided people in the room who decided to side with whoever spoke more confidently or had the nicer tie. Why does this happen? What causes this?
I don’t visually see people plugging their ears, so I’m convinced it is little gnomes. I think what happens is that when somebody starts speaking, whom you already know you don’t agree with, your pulse accelerates. This accelerated pulse causes an alarm to go off which alerts the gnomes in your ears to deploy the plugs so their blabbering doesn’t make it hard to hear yourself think about how smart you are and how wrong they are. This is why arguments happen so quickly. These gnomes conveniently plug your ears while the other party explains their side of the story so you don’t have to bother listening to them. That way you can think of what you are going to say next. They take a breath and, Bam! There’s your chance! Get back to talking! That’s when the gnomes take the plugs out.
Or i mean, it could be pride… or fear…
No…it couldn’t be!
I would love to go into stories of how opening my mind and listening to the other person’s point of view has changed my life and been awesome, but I fear I am losing your attention. I could point to examples like Martin Luther who was skeptical of the Roman Catholic church and ended up reading the Bible, somewhat open minded, and re-discovering the gospel. I could use the example in my own life of how I learned that I won’t go to hell if I take communion before I’m baptized. (I actually believed that.) Growing up in a conservative republican Christian house, I believed that Barack Obama was the Anti-Christ when he ran for office. Now I realize he’s just a crummy president like any other. Another great example is in college, when I bought into the faith versus science lie and tried to make God go away by learning a bunch of science. I came out believing in intelligent design and worshiping that much more.
Bringing it back to the debate
My primary point is this: unplug your ears and listen. We have all met God, and know that He is who He says He is. Studying his creation can only lead to a deeper knowledge of the creator and his attributes. Read the bible critically. When you find something that doesn’t make sense, don’t stop thinking and learning until you have the answers you need. When you read anti-theistic literature, don’t just toss it in the trash, but wrestle through it. Get to know your Creator, Father, and Savior.
You can’t just stop at “I know God is real.” First of all, you make yourself and the rest of us look stupid. Second, and more importantly, you deprive yourself from the deep deep understanding that comes by exploring God’s creation, his word, and his character. So the real reason I didn’t comment about the debate is because everyone is talking and no one is listening. But you, follower of Dinner With Sinners, be different!