My blog has been attracting conversations from some very kind people.
People who believe, and people who don’t. People who see good in God, and people who don’t. People who seemingly have nothing in common except kindness.
It seems a fringe conversation. Because once Atheists and Christians begin to converse it’s anybody’s guess who will be saved or de-converted.
There are also (believers’ side) verses which say you preach the Good News and your listeners either accept it or reject it. That if they reject it, you shake the dust off your feet and move on. Which means I will not debate with you, I will not argue with you, I will simply state my belief in the fact of God Jesus Spirit and the bible – and then “shake you off the soles of my shoes” if you don’t agree to be saved.
There is also observable evidence (non-believer’s side) which says that “belief” of a believer is not belief. It is “faith based belief”. That proper “belief” is based upon observable evidence, and there is no observable evidence for “this belief” – that “faith based belief” by definition cannot be observed as evidence. So the “belief” will never be observable and cannot be called “belief” (which is observable).
It is usually a courtroom. But not this time. Which has opened my eyes to a few things.
Because I have been in court a few times. And “truth” is not the prize – winning is the prize. Because I have seen facts suppressed and distorted. I have seen a judge spot something no one else had – and unable to do more than invite the side with the goodies (that only the judge could see) to add something further and (because the other side couldn’t see it either) we won that one.
A courtroom is not about justice. It is about winning. One side will win and the other will not.
In my job I have learned to “expect” that we will end up in court. Which means that even before the get-go “stuff” has to be right. And at each stage of the relationship stuff has to be right. As the relationship moves to delivery and payment stuff has to be right. I do sound like a right jobs-worth to the sales team (who fly by headlines and as little detail as they can get away with). My job requires doing it right because “a sale is not a sale until paid for”. We call that credit control and cash collection.
But I have also learned that “doing it right” needs more than just good paperwork. We all need to know the parameters within which we are agreeing. And if we do, then love is part of “doing it right”.
Did you know that there are only a very small minority of people who live for the kill (of another). Most of us want to be kind. It’s just we need a safe place in which to be safe. That is my observable evidence.
In my job I say sorry if we messed up. I have found almost no one wants “compensation”. I have found we all want to be heard. So when we do it right we can be “human”. It makes people smile. It connects. And that – for me – is part of “doing it right”.
Observable evidence? We have need to resort to a courtroom very rarely. I think maybe the last time was … maybe 3-4 years ago … ?
Which is why this recent blog conversation has taught me loads.
I am now content to agree that the bible is not an accurate factual record of “how it was” (Old or New). And I am safe in the relationship I have with one I call Lord (because that is the bible and that is my upbringing). And I am safe with those of other faiths and religions because I am safe using the language you are safe with. And I am safe with those of no faith and no religion and their language. I am safe with youngsters who swear and stink of weed. With whom we never talk about God unless first asked. We all do that. We all believe that “that” is doing it right. Waiting to be asked. And listening. Always.
Except in this oddity …
It is when I say to my believing colleagues that I am now far happier not defending the bible as I was taught to … That is when I feel an outsider.
Why is that?