Persuasion to a point of view is ethical and necessary

Oct 12, 2020 | Blog, Christian Living, Current Events, Ethics

Have you ever encountered the absurd idea that it is somehow unethical to persuade someone?

I think it must be a byproduct of the cultural moment we are in…

But lately, it seems I am seeing this sort of mentality crop up all around.

”No, you can’t offer a suggestion and tell me that I SHOULD believe it. That’s unethical.”

But since when?

Is that some unwritten law that folks for the last six millennia never really caught hold of until now?

So, an admission:

First, I should say that, to my shame, I am not really a fan of history and I have really hard time getting into it.

Second, I really—really—hate politics. I just do.

This is unfortunate since history often repeats itself, and there is “nothing new under the sun” to paraphrase Solomon. In other words, I wholly recognize that coming to grips with history is one effective way to prepare for the future.

Thus, the intersection of history and politics, which are extremely important in this (and every, really) cultural moment, are things I legitimately struggle with.

Can you relate at all?

However, it is election season, and I find that—especially during these times—it is helpful to be reminded of a healthy Christian perspective on politics.

Here are just two things I have been doing the last few days. Listening to more of Allie Beth Stuckey’s podcast, Relatable. Although her audience is primarily Christian women, she is a force for the gospel and conservatism, and always seeks to report in a way that is fair and accurate.

Following her has helped me to gain a more holistic perspective.

I’ve also been reading James Robison and Jay Richards’ Indivisible. So far, it’s a great read.

In both this book and the Relatable podcast, I’ve come across reminders of this idea that persuasion to a point of view is almost assumed de facto unethical.

Allie Beth has caveated the last few episodes I’ve listened to with the idea that she is speaking from a point of view, and is aiming to persuade listeners to her point of view.

To be clear—I understand why she is doing this. I just think it’s insane that she even has to. Has it really come to this?

In the Indivisible book, the authors repeatedly tackle this claim (across various contexts) that to be a Christian in public service is unethical. This is God’s world, and the evidence is overabundantly clear that belief in God produces a moral framework for society that reduces crime, poverty, etc.

Thus, it is idealogical suicide to suppose that we do not have a say or that we should not speak up to defend what we believe in the public square.

If we truly believe what Christianity teaches, and that transformed people would change the world as we know it, it would actually be unethical of us not to persuade others to our worldview!

Speaking of persuading others…

I have recently re-released my book Truth Be Told to be relevant to a wider swath of my audience (more official announcement coming in a few days).

It’s all about how to persuade others that Christianity is not only true, but good.

To get your hands on a copy, here’s the link:

Enduring Together,

Meet Steve

Meet Steve

Hi, I’m Steve, an author, speaker, and Bible teacher with a heart for exploring God’s Word and God’s world.

I’m interested in the surprising connection between creation, theology, business, and storytelling. We explore those themes and more on this blog.

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