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Following Paul's model in discussion

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#1
Diatheosis

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Having missed the chance to reply in a thread with similar topic to this, I'll follow Golden Eagle's advice and open another new.

 

Have you ever noticed the way Paul brings up things in his letters?

 

Sometimes referred as the sandwich model, it begins by telling the other participant(s) about the good things we perceive in them or their views. If there's much we don't agree on, if anything at all, I guess it would not cost us too much to express our gratitude or respect towards them as persons with a few words or so. It does not or should not need to be false pretending. As God's children, this should not be too much asked, but such spontaneous love should already reside within us. It's only a matter of letting it flow. I personally find this aspect very important when it has to do with debating with people who don't yet know Jesus. Because Jesus commanded us to love as He did. I am not talking of extremes, but a kind comment etc.

 

But, in Paul's approach, he does not spare his words either when it comes to correcting someone's behavior and things like that. I believe many Christians actually perhaps unconsciously imitate his style as for this, whilst forgetting about the first part mentioned above. Yet I think more or less contextual preaching is always a good option, though it does not or at least should not undermine the truth of God's Word.

 

Lastly, Paul forecloses often with a smoother ending, giving the participant(s) a chance to reflect upon what was said.

 

I am not condemning anyone for how they choose to participate here, or otherwise either, but I have come to experience this has often proven itself quite a fruitful way of approaching people. And it's not about being false, but coming forward with an attitude that keeps the debates on a positive tone even with disagreements. There have been a number of times I've been provoked to get irritated, but why should someone's perceptions or opinions affect my life?

 

Just thought to share this, I can testify for its effectiveness.

 

God bless.



#2
gamnot

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I think that this is a good point. it boils down to the art of being truthful without losing your integrity; of being self-assertive while at the same time avoiding the corruption of self-assertiveness which is referred to as being sadistic and without becoming caught up the tendency toward corrupt compliance which is referred to as masochism. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between those who have a genuine Christian orientation to life who over-respond with a francized consciousness from those who act as provocation agents against religion of all kinds.



#3
Willamina

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Thank you diatheosis, that was very helpful. I tend to blurt things out when I am speaking with people more than when answering posts. When posting or witnessing to people I lean more on the Lord to direct my thoughts. But I am always on guard when people use flattery so when I express appreciation it has to be with all sincerity or I don't do it at all. We are all bound by our love for the Lord in the inner court. So expressing our thankfulness for all He has done would be a good opening when I really can't endorse an idea.

When witnessing to unbelievers I really don't know a good way to open the conversation about the Lord. But telling someone how much I appreciate certain attributes might be a way to open the conversation. There is a bus person at a restraunt that I should try to witness to someday. Hubby is always present to pray and join in. This is terrible to say but the guy is really obnoxious and an odd duck, so to speak. But he considers us friends and sits with us while we eat if he is off shift. My heart keeps telling me I should at least try to share Christ with him. It is often hard to get a word in because he talks a lot. But when he becomes a little quiet I will try that.

#4
Qnts2

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Thank you diatheosis, that was very helpful. I tend to blurt things out when I am speaking with people more than when answering posts. When posting or witnessing to people I lean more on the Lord to direct my thoughts. But I am always on guard when people use flattery so when I express appreciation it has to be with all sincerity or I don't do it at all. We are all bound by our love for the Lord in the inner court. So expressing our thankfulness for all He has done would be a good opening when I really can't endorse an idea.

When witnessing to unbelievers I really don't know a good way to open the conversation about the Lord. But telling someone how much I appreciate certain attributes might be a way to open the conversation. There is a bus person at a restraunt that I should try to witness to someday. Hubby is always present to pray and join in. This is terrible to say but the guy is really obnoxious and an odd duck, so to speak. But he considers us friends and sits with us while we eat if he is off shift. My heart keeps telling me I should at least try to share Christ with him. It is often hard to get a word in because he talks a lot. But when he becomes a little quiet I will try that.

 

Just a possibility.

 

Sometimes, I ask a question. Usually 'Who would you say Jesus is to you?' Or something like that. I find it a good opener, as it starts with Jesus and gives information of the other persons view of Who Jesus is.  



#5
Willamina

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That would be better for a person I have no known as long.  But it would be good to follow up with that question to bring up the subject.



#6
Diatheosis

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Actually, sorry to say, many a time someone's intended provocation only gives random satisfaction when you reply with all the grace God has ever been able to produce in you. There have been occasions when a nonbeliever's blasphemy directed to set my religious identity aflame, for them only to realize the God I am talking about is actually the God of love and compassion.

 

it's the feeling you get when they have no other option to maintain their integrity than to show the same kind of politeness back. I really hope, that sometimes that would have a deeper impact in their thinking. :D






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