October 22, 2017

Making Arguments in Public

Don Johnson

David French of the National Review has a short piece under the headline, “Never Stop Making Moral and Religious Arguments.” In it, he advocates for making moral (even religious) arguments in the public square, despite the gainsaying of opponents. He notes that those on the political left make moral arguments all the time. They make these arguments powerfully and demand your acquiescence. That is what the pro-gender-confusion stance is all about these days. This is what the argument against conservative moral argument is all about. It is an attempt to shout down the voice of moral opposition by making loud counter moral argumentation. French says,

The bottom line is that moral arguments have real power, and they’re even more powerful if only one side is making them. That’s doubly true for religious arguments. Progressive Christians have no trouble quoting scripture to support progressive arguments. Yet all too many conservatives fall for the claim that “no one cares” what the Bible says when standing on orthodox Christian moral principle.

This short piece is the result of a longer piece on the rape culture (so-called) that exists on university campuses. (I commend both pieces to you.) The conclusion of the “Moral Arguments” piece is this:

I refuse to unilaterally disarm. I refuse to leave the moral battlefield to my opponents, and I refuse to remove my best arguments from the conversation. I’m under no illusion that moral or religious arguments persuade everyone. But I do know that they can change nations and cultures. Just ask the Left, they’ve been using morality and religion to change the nation for generations. Conservatives should do the same.

Our friend Mark Ward comments on Facebook:

Every group in society advances moral arguments that are rooted in based-on-faith worldviews; we can’t stop, so we shouldn’t stop—we should be practiced as a society in adverting to our ultimate commitments.

Hear! Hear!

Christians, let us have the courage of our convictions! (This of course pre-supposes convictions in the first place!) We must be ready and willing to stand up for righteousness in the public square. Granted, we need to develop skill in communicating those convictions. Granted, we need to be as informed as possible about all the parameters in order to make our communication more effective.

But the most important factor is courage. Courage will come, I think, from two things: (1) Knowing what God has to say to our culture, which means we must be thoroughly immersed in the Bible and its message and (2) enthusiasm for what God has to say, which means in the archaic sense of the word, being filled with the Spirit of God (en + theos = filled with God).

Christians, be diligent to know and speak the word of God to our culture.


Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.


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