Everyone reaches a point where you lose touch with an opposing point of view. During one of my final years of teaching, let’s just say I had a class of unique 9th graders. My regularly scheduled lesson plans weren’t working so I was forced to adapt, developing a debate style of curriculum to engage these students. Despite a few heated moments, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I did have things in common with opposing worldviews. This is one of the positive outcomes when you learn to debate with class, not clash.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15.
Unfortunately, there is a growing movement within higher education to replace debate with protests. Instead of accumulating and debating the facts, students are being encouraged to rise up against injustice, offensive symbols and if necessary incite violence. The end goal is to pressure public officials to give into their demands. As leaders abandon principles by giving into this pressure, the more successful this approach becomes. This is what happens when you allow clashing to reign.
Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander, 1 Peter 3:16.
So which practice is better, to debate with class or clash? Is having a national debate with both sides present the best option? After all the evidence is conveyed, individuals can decide which argument is more convincing. Or should we can leave things the way it is, allowing social media to set the daily narrative. Meanwhile, anyone who doesn’t adhere or agree with Progressive views is demonized, stigmatized or trashed. Is the opposition afraid of debating controversial topics? Is it that the truth will expose flawed worldviews? Whatever the reason, I pray that Americans will return to a more civil style of debate with class.
by Jay Mankus