Perhaps many Christians think arguing is bad because they can’t distinguish between a person and their ideas. Even for themselves, they can take it personally when someone is arguing against their ideas. But not arguing does make me a nice person. And the fact that I do argue about consequential things does not make me unloving. Nice people can be wrong, and mean people can be right. I can criticize a person’s ideas without criticizing the person. The challenge is to communicate my disagreement—to argue—in such a way that the person understands I disagree with their ideas, not them personally. Friends can and do argue over their disagreements, though it is most often the case that they are friends precisely because they do agree on so many things.
Finally, with regards to the criticism that I am “not fair and balanced” and that I am “close-minded and too biased against liberals,” I am perhaps guilty as charged. However, it is only because I have weighed the arguments on both sides and found the current expressions of modern liberalism deficient. I gave liberalism a fair hearing when I began to formulate my political philosophy and found it contrary to my Christian values. I am no longer struggling with moral equivalence between the left and the right. I would be close-minded and biased if I were unwilling to weigh arguments for liberalism. Having done so, I am a conservative precisely because I have found the arguments for liberalism unpersuasive.
Some Christians may claim, “Christians shouldn’t argue about politics” simply because they’re political liberals who are unwilling to actually engage in argument over their political views. Instead, they would rather attempt to stifle debate by taking the pseudo moral high ground, saying something like, “Truly spiritual Christians are above politics.”
That’s too bad. Christians can and should argue, especially about theology and politics—and hopefully in that order.
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