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No, we aren’t going to learn how to wield a sword in todays Lesson. I wanted to talk more about something I take pretty serious for multiple reasons: Debate. {{But let me begin by saying I do not endorse all of these tactics: This is for you to better understand how people will come against you, and how to counter their tactics}}

Debating isn’t a sin, how many times did Paul defend the faith in front of audiences before his accusers? but how you debate certainly can be sinful. So I wanted to run over Debate tactics, the honest ones and the dishonest ones, so that we may become more wise. Arguments are ugly, its when anger is blown in every direction, while debate is a relatively-civil disagreement between two individuals, where spectators can draw their own conclusion based off who sells their idea the best ways. Being able to properly debate someone in a healthy way, makes these people a kind of, “ideological salesman” who have become popular in the intellectual community by properly expressing their ideas.

The first thing we should consider, when entering a debate, is the nature of what you’re stepping into. By nature; politics, religion, and social issues, are philosophical and ideological war zones. So the first thing, is to accept the nature of it, and walk towards the fire. Walk towards it, but don’t add to it, because the second thing you have to consider is that “He who is the first to get angry, Loses.”

Body language, and verbal delivery are everything. Debate requires a sort of, “Poker face,” raise your voice, even let your heart race, and you’re headed down a path to name calling and slandering. The only acceptable emotion to reflect is amusement, because just as you don’t want to get upset, you need to get your opponent to fall into the trap you yourself are trying not to step in, many people when debating are not conscious of this, but acting amused by your opponent’s theories as if they’re childish, is the most common method used to ruffle someone’s feathers, and get them to lose their lid, and ultimately the debate.

Alright, so we’ve walked towards the fire, keeping in mind to maintain steady body language and emotion. The third thing to remember, is as a Christian, more commonly will you be approached as a straw-man. “So you think you’re going to die and go up to heaven huh?” Immediately, change the dynamic of the debate, understand that they are trying to reconcile your argument by assuming your standpoint, and expressing what it is they think you believe, in a manner that lacks intelligence. See, right off the bat, your opponent will meet your beliefs with amusement. Change the Dynamic of the debate, immediately.. “So you think you’re going to die and go up to heaven?” Response, “No, I believe YOU’RE going to die, and Heaven will come down to earth.” You’re no longer a straw man at this point; you’ve shown your teeth without telling lies, and said what is true, whilst also establishing to spectators that your opponent is going to enter a debate he doesn’t know anything about, besides a few regurgitated arguments. We’re on a great track so far! We’ve walked toward the fire with a calm demeanor, and dismantled their first argument, now what?

For the most part, people you debate don’t actually know what they claim to believe. For the most part, all they have is an arsenal of pre-determined questions based in a false premise that they’ve been dying to ask Christians. So that’s what you do from here, tactfully go through each of their preloaded arguments, constantly reaffirm your standpoint. The minute you notice him stuff a pair of pants with hay, throw a match on the whole bail.

I intentionally use a match as an analogy, one spark can set acres of forests on fire, remember that “mic drops” are usually only a few words. Always answer in a truth that all men know to be true, so that your opponent may see the inconsistencies in their thinking, but be sure to understand that seldom do people change their minds in front of an audience. This is why we maintain a calm demeanor, as to not fall into name calling are cussing the person out, if it’s not healthy, take a walk. But if you can just get the point across without demonstrating arrogance, within the comfort of their own home, your opponent is more likely to look into the Faith you so thoroughly defended.

The last few bits of advance are simple; Don’t get distracted (Stay on topic), and don’t get sucked into the paradigm. Defend your belief; you don’t have to defend anyone else’s. Don’t fall victim to the “Identity Politics” Tactic, “Oh you’re a Christian so you must agree with everything ______________ says!” There is more diversity in Gods church than anywhere else in the world, among any other religion or people, and with that diversity, comes disagreements. We do not have to agree with every word the other says like some mindless cult. You’re defending the faith, which is my last bit of advice, be you.

You’re going to have to do this often. Or are we not ready to give an account? Many would have you believe that your best move is to roll over and play dead, that we should just allow people to slap us around. Moses debated Pharaoh, Elijah debated the Prophets of Baal, Jesus (Matthew 23), Paul and all the apostles when they were martyred. We are not the keep this faith within the walls of our homes, we ought to have in us such a passion that it pours out for all the world to see.

When they see it, they will come against you. Let them, walk towards the fire. Chin up, shoulders back, know that it is in this Fire that the Holy Spirit will speak though you. May every match you light become an unquenchable flame truth. Short responses, with overwhelmingly truthful implications. I encourage you, beloved, to master this. They will come against you, and they will multiply. Remember that you have a very big God in your corner, be brave in not shying away. Walk towards the Fire.

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