This is a supplement to my last post about the movie, God’s Not Dead 2‘s impact on the world we live in. If you haven’t read that, it would be helpful to read that first for context here.
This is a short video with Neil Carter, the atheist blogger I mentioned in my last post. He’s speaking at a Christian church, giving his take on what atheists wish we knew about them. I find this kind of dialogue helpful for all of us.
I mentioned in my post, “When we stop listening to their stories,” that when we start hearing what people who disagree with us have to say, we stop labeling them so we can dismiss them. We stop polarizing, seeing these people as the enemy. We start “humanizing” them instead. This is the beginning of meaningful connection. And Jesus was the master of meaningful connection during His earthly ministry.
Those not like us are no longer seen as a threat or, worse, a demon caricature we’ve painted with our fear. They are people, just like us, who have a lot of the same values, hopes, and dreams as us. And while they don’t believe like us, they still have worth to God, so they should have worth to us. We, of all people, should know that (John 3:16). When we stop treating them like “evangelistic projects” and listen to what they have to say, love can take place. And where there is love, there is God.
Remember, we can either try to “be right” or try to understand. We can either try to win the argument or we can communicate. We can either shut people up or love them like Jesus does. Two things about that. You can’t do both and it’s completely your choice in each case. But if we choose the latter then, maybe, they will listen to our story, too.
So, my beloved brother and sisters in Christ, let’s not be afraid to listen and learn. God is at work here.
“we can either try to “be right” or try to understand. We can either try to win the argument or we can communicate. We can either shut people up or love them like Jesus does.” Kind of says it all, Mel. When we stop loving, we stop hearing. When our ears are shut, it’s all over.
Exactly the excerpt I was going to quote for the same reasons – perfectly put, and so so true.
Thanks Susan (and Faith Unlocked!). Yup, we need to learn how to love and stop being so insecure. Love is SO much bigger than any issue we may face, and it reveals to us the infinite value of every human being, no matter what they may believe or don’t believe. We’re all on this thing called “Earth” together!
Love is other-centered so, of course, it opens our ears, too. 🙂
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