What role do emotions serve in truth discussion?

                “This hurts my feelings!” “That triggers me.” “You shouldn’t say that, someone could get offended.” I hear this way to much, and not just on Christian issues, but also in religious discussions as well. We are expected to handle everyone with kid gloves now because someone can get offended. This has been taken so far that discussions are stifled because people are so afraid of being offended, or get so offended that violence is perpetrated against those who are speaking, and everywhere in between. Naturally emotions can run high, especially so during election season, but when discussing the fundamental truths of humanity and God, are we to allow our emotions to control our thoughts and logic? I don’t think so, but that’s not to say we are to be emotionless robots. What I am saying is that we cannot allow fear or anger or any other emotions to dictate our conversations. What I would like to do here is show that, at least as Christians, that God has given us our minds to reason out truth and that we should not be afraid to discuss our ideas.
                During the time of Jesus, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were riled up by Jesus’ teachings that he was God incarnate, the Messiah that was promised from God. Jesus was calling out their hyprocrisy, as well as teaching what they viewed to be heresy. Their judgement and desire to see Jesus killed came from this, as well as a preconception of what the Messiah was supposed to be, a conquering king that was going to destroy the oppressive Roman Empire. We can see this all through the New Testament that people did not want to hear what Christians had to say, so they censored them, beat them, and even killed them to try and keep the gospel from being spread. Now this wasn’t because of an inflammatory message being spread in the means that people may think of, but because of the truth of the gospel and that this message is the polar opposite of what our society and our very flesh believes.
                So what are we as Christians to do when talking about truth ideas ourselves? Some of us are certainly guilty of letting our emotions run high and shutting people down when it comes to non-Christians bringing questions concerning our faith. Why do we do this? In Matthew 28 we are given the great commission, to go and disciple people and teach them about the gospel! We cannot really do this if we are getting offended that people would dare to ask us questions about the hope that is within us. We are taught to treat questioners with gentleness and respect as we answer them (1 Peter 3:15). Now we are not to be timid or fearful of backlash or questions. God has given us a spirit of power, not of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). We have courage, love, and self-discipline. We are not called to be afraid of what God has created. We are called to be conquerors for Christ. Not in the sense of Islam that is physical subjugation, but in our waging spiritual warfare by bringing the love of Christ to the masses.
                So, where do our emotions belong in terms of discussion of the truth of the gospel, or any truth for that matter? I think they are important, as they give us our fire to discuss with passion, and not be robots about the issue. We just cannot allow them to be the commander of the discussion, otherwise we get what we see at places like DePaul University or others, where people who disagree with what speakers have to say hijack the talks and keep any ideas from being discussed. As an intellectual and a Christian who believes in giving respect to all, this saddens me that we are shouting down people we disagree with as opposed to discussing differences and seeing if we can’t win them over to our side or evolve both of our positions as a consequence of open, honest discussion.

                This may have been a little bit of a trip off of my usual track of posts, but hopefully still helpful. I hope that we can bring back our discussions in all regards, from politics to religion to economics, to a table where cooler heads can prevail and we can have an honest exchange of ideas. May God bless you and have a good rest of your day.


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