Friday, 21 December 2012

Don't argue, don't debate: Christians should just let it be known "We will not do it"


When secular Leftist organizations (that is, all Western governments and all major social institutions) intend to impose new rules that require Christians to do that which real Christians cannot do - or require Christians to stop doing what real Christians must do - then there is no obligation for Christians to engage in debate, discussion or explanation with those who do not share Christian premises: to do so is indeed counter-productive, since it carries the message that if the secular Leftists come up with enough strong enough arguments, then Christians will change their minds.

All that Christians need to and should do is to make a single clear and unambiguous statement on the matter: either that we will not do what we should not do; or that we will continue to do what we ought to do - to the utmost of our abilities.

What follows and how it all pans-out is, in a sense, none of our business.

We cannot, cannot be expected to, and should not even try to re-organize and reform the whole secular Leftist mainstream world: that is not our business, and it is the kind of business that prevents us doing our real business.

We must just do, or not do; and wait patiently see see what happens, and pray to bear it as best we may.

The above is not a strategy carefully crafted for success - who knows how things will unfold? It is simply a matter of taking responsibility for that for which we are responsible; and not for that for which we are not.



dearieme said...

Here's a tale from an LRB review about Oppenheimer as a research student of Blackett: make of it what you will.

"Oppenheimer was miserable, near collapse, bedevilled by sexual frustration and academic anxieties. ... At his wits’ end, he left a poisoned apple on Blackett’s desk. ... His father, in town on a visit, worked out a deal with the dean. Instead of being sent down (or sent to prison), Oppenheimer was sent to an analyst."

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - It is one thing to imagine poisoning the boss; but actually to attempt it...

It sounds like the debate was over whether O's action was 1. irresponsible youthful prank (sent down); 2. attempted murder (prison); 3. crazy (analyst).

BUt, as you know, I think most creative geniuses are at least semi-crazy.


I find it hard to imagine you reading the ultra-left LRB (I used to subscribe at one time) - Do you hold it at arm's length and keep your eyes half-closed, or maybe put it at the bottom of the garden and read through binoculars?

dearieme said...

Actually, there's a sort of honesty in its bias: "take me as you find me" sort of thing, so it's far more palatable than the Guardian, which I find a shamefully crooked rag. Though of course one has, has one not, to read Michael Cox on football.

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - I sincerely hope one has never to read *anything* on football - whether Association, Rugby, American, Aussie Rules or of whatever type.

Balls are not meant to be kicked or fun with - but intended to be small enough to fit within the hand and variously bowled, pitched, thrown, caught or struck with wooden bats.

A.K. Abeille said...

I suspect this post garnered few comments because it is essentially complete and beautifully correct. I just wanted to comment that it is also brilliant and particularly USEFUL, unlike the vast majority of any blog posts, of whatever quality of thought. Thank you, Mr. Charlton, for your generosity of mind.

Bruce Charlton said...

AKA - why thank you!