In our lives we may wish to debate many things, and for those of us who love a good debate it can seem like a fun.
There are theological conundrums to work out, political stand points to push to the nth degree to see if they work, philosphical dilemmas to ponder.
But we must always remember that to be free to question is a privilege not merely becuase freedom of thought is a gift and expressing it is not legal everywhere; but also becuase if you are free to choose whether to engage with a certain question you are privileged in another way.
For example the issue of homosexuality: it is most often phrased in the question “does the Bible say it is ok to be gay?”
But the gay teen has no choice to discuss that question. Hidden in that question is the deeper one: is it ok for me to be gay?
The debate rages :does the Bible forbid women from ministry? But the woman hears: does the bible forbid me from ministry?
a confusing theological issues: why doesn’t God heal everyone? But for the sick the cry is: why doesn’t God heal me?
When we have any debate we can assess the power or privilege we have by noticing whether it’s personal or not? Is it a conundrum to be understood or a cry to be answered?
If a theological debate is merely a debate to you, then you have the power, and if you have the power then you can choose to exercise it with mercy or not.