Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, March 31, 2005

My picks: Carolina over Michigan State Illinois over Louisville Carolina over Illinois - - - - Tuesday was Randy Harris's day to teach in our class. Supposed to be on Ephesians. Right before we walked into the classroom I suggested he hold off on Ephesians until Thursday (today) and instead engage the students in a discussion about Terry Schiavo, encouraging them to learn to think Christianly about our interaction with the broader culture and to learn to talk with one another about issues where they strongly disagree without getting ugly. It was great. I'm so encouraged that these 80 freshmen Bible majors were able to do just that. For some reason the generation or two above them often haven't modeled that very well. We've demonized opponents, often assuming the worst about them and their motives. Wouldn't it be a tremendous step forward if we could learn to talk without having to agree? I'm not saying we should adopt a "whatever" philosophy where we no longer hold to convictions. But can't we recognize the humanity of others? Can't we assume better motives (unless they've proved us otherwise)? Can't we go toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose without being eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth?

30 Comments:

  • I think being raised in a culture that taught me that someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong causes me to have trouble accepting others' opinions. I'm working on that.

    By the way, Go Heels!

    By Blogger That Girl, at 3/31/2005 05:01:00 AM  

  • I agree...we need more tolerance and understanding in all areas of life.

    By the way, your NCAA picks are stupid! Go Cards!!

    By Blogger MarkS, at 3/31/2005 05:23:00 AM  

  • Mike, thanks for sharing the thoughts about disagreements. I have tried (and not always been successful) to use the language of "I disagree with you" as opposed to "you are wrong". The first phrase communicates that there is the possibility that I could be wrong! The second communicates that I have attained all wisdom and knowledge, therefore you must be an idiot. Does that mean that there are NO absolutes? Of course not. And for those few absolutes that are out there, I think we should stand firm in our convictions. But as you know, very FEW things are absolute.

    God help us to speak the truth in love. Help us to do EVERYTHING in love, just as Christ did.

    By Blogger David U, at 3/31/2005 06:50:00 AM  

  • I have often worried that I can see both sides of most issues. I sometimes have more trouble taking a firm stand. The one exception (until the last 5 years) has been at church. When we can accept that everything is not black & white and that love covers a multitude of sins we will begin to be more "like Jesus".

    By Blogger DJG, at 3/31/2005 07:01:00 AM  

  • My picks:
    Carolina over Michigan State
    Louisville over Illinis
    Carolina over Louisville in OT

    I believe that where there is no written will we should error on the side of life. I believe that Terri's husband is a shady punk and that there is nothing wrong with her being fed for the rest of her years by her parents and family. I believe the nurses who claim her husband abused her. I believe the priest who says she closed her eyes when he started praying and opened them when he finished. I believe she has an amazing will to live as evidenced by how long she has hung on. I believe this is an indication of how our society discards human life.

    That being said...

    I love anyone who disagrees with me and I totally agree with Mike that the ability to disagree without getting ugly is a sign of the Spirit's prescenece.

    Unless it's sports...and the picks above...then I'm right and Mike is a clueless nutjob.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 3/31/2005 07:03:00 AM  

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    By Blogger Matt, at 3/31/2005 08:18:00 AM  

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    By Blogger Matt, at 3/31/2005 08:21:00 AM  

  • WHAT IF...

    ...most social and political issues are so complex and multifacited that Chrisitans in democratic societies can never hope to agree on many of them, simply because they have different experiences/world views?

    ...when we disagree with each other in the venom-filled, politicized dialogs that characterize modern American politics, we are only demonstrating that - in yet ANOTHER way - Western Christianity has been utterly coopted by cultural forces?

    ...it is the WAY that we go about disagreeing with each other, charitably and with knowledge that the affairs of the Kingdom transcend states, courts, and politics, that really matters?

    ...our purpose is not to agree on all the right answers to the important issues of our day, but to testify - in our diversity of opinion - that the Kingdom has come, by treating each other with dignity and respect?

    By Blogger Matt, at 3/31/2005 08:23:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    Thanks for opening your heart, life and soul and sharing it with me! What a blessing! www.djbulls.blogspot.com

    Blessings,
    DJB

    By Blogger D.J. Bulls, at 3/31/2005 08:50:00 AM  

  • I was somehow both saddened and relieved to receive an e-mail flash a few minutes ago bearing the news that Terri Schiavo had died. But I think this development is far from making the issue moot. I just hope it doesn't serve to further polarize our country politically on issues which very nearly transcend human wisdom.

    By Blogger Keith Brenton, at 3/31/2005 09:30:00 AM  

  • Thanks, Mike,

    Such needed thoughts for so many of us. There are lyrics from one of Don Henley's songs which say "the more I know, the less I understand." Maybe this is true, and not a bad thing.

    Go Heels!

    By Blogger cathy moore, at 3/31/2005 10:43:00 AM  

  • Joel Q - I can "agree to disagree" with you on some points, but you make it harder for me to "respectfully disagree" when you use terms like "shady punk". I didn't know you knew Michael Schaivo. And I didn't know that you were in the position to judge him. I think you should stand firm to your convictions, but you might actually convince people to "your side" if you stray from the harsh, judgemental language! All of us have our own opinions on this case, but as far as I know, NO ONE (at least on this blog) has ALL the information, so who are we to judge?

    BTW - I pick Illinois all the way. And isn't it weird that we're talking NCAA & the Schaivo case in the same blog? What a strange world we live in!

    By Blogger Beaner, at 3/31/2005 12:02:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Beaner, at 3/31/2005 12:03:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Beaner, at 3/31/2005 12:03:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Beaner, at 3/31/2005 12:04:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Beaner, at 3/31/2005 12:04:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Beaner, at 3/31/2005 12:06:00 PM  

  • WOW! Sorry about the multiple posts - I was having a BIG problem w/Blogger!

    By Blogger Beaner, at 3/31/2005 12:11:00 PM  

  • I disagree to agree, agree to disagree, agree to agree, and disagree to disagree. Thats why I'm so screwed up, but it all makes sense if you think about it.

    Illinois is going to win it all, because there guards won't let them lose.

    By Blogger Brandon Moore, at 3/31/2005 12:14:00 PM  

  • Spiritual theology speaks of the stance of a learned ignorance that one must adopt in order to experience true spiritual growth. This involves a reliance upon a way of not knowing as a way of truly knowing the Divine. Perhaps what we need, on either side of this issue, is a little dose of humility along with an acceptance of our limited understanding of God as God truly is.

    We're so quick in trying to wrap our minds around an issue or concept that when we come to a decision, we feel as if we have reached the intellectual summit. This is easily transferred to our experience of God. Historically, people didn't know what to do with Christ. We tried to wrap our minds around the dichotomy of his existence, even to the point of literally trying to nail him down. As my professor, Elaine Robinson has said, "We've tried nailing God down before. It didn't work."

    May God continue to slip through our hands like a greased pig, ever calling us forward to enjoy the struggle rather than obsessing about the outcome or establishing our position. We often confuse unity with uniformity. Let us hold to the power of the incarnated Christ in the diversity of his followers. It's a beautifiul sight to behold.

    By Blogger Krister, at 3/31/2005 12:19:00 PM  

  • "Greased pig" thats awesome!

    By Blogger Brandon Moore, at 3/31/2005 12:25:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Jon Spears, at 3/31/2005 01:00:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Jon Spears, at 3/31/2005 01:01:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Jon Spears, at 3/31/2005 01:03:00 PM  

  • I heard this story about two men disagreeing over "proper discipline."

    The first man told the second: "You can't keep putting up with his behavior. It's time to get tough!! Didn't you read Dobson's book? You can't keep giving him all these chances. Your boy shouldn't live like this!!! Your boy is ruining his life and he also ruining yours. NO father should take this crap from his son.

    The second man replied: But you are not HIS Father.

    My point: No one, I mean, No one can speak about the Shaivo case...unless you've been there. Either on the parent's side or the husband's.

    Ladies and Gentlemen: Compassion

    There's an old saying that opinions are like...never mind.

    jonspears2000@yahoo.com

    By Blogger Jon Spears, at 3/31/2005 01:16:00 PM  

  • This debate is a difficult one. I have heard many Christians argue that anyone who thought Terri should be kept alive must not believe in(or look forward to) an afterlife.

    I argue that God created life. He told us to love our neighbor as ourself and do not murder. I look forward to one day being in heaven, but while I am on earth, I want to protect this sacred gift that God has given us...life.

    Go Illini!!

    By Blogger elizabeth, at 3/31/2005 02:59:00 PM  

  • My thoughts (and bias) on disagreements as it relates to the church:
    Those that are anchored to and worshippers of tradition are opposed to the seeker's desire and proposed actions to develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with God - i.e. a more Spirit-filled worship, classes, devotionals, activities, etc. that promote relationship over rules. The seeker feels their Spirit is being quenched, so, rather than complain (as the more more traditionalists are wont to do) -- they leave. Many I know consider the disagreement field no different than the slippery slope. There is no disagreement - they and God are correct - and they've been correct for 50 years.

    By Blogger KentF, at 4/01/2005 07:39:00 AM  

  • As a student in your class I would like to thank you. I really love how you and Randy are able to teach, without having to teach. I really wish this was adapted by more of the faculty at ACU. I am typically the type of student that never speaks up mainly because I wait and let others share their opinion first.

    I was really amazed like you how the class handled everything. I think that my generation is seeing the negative impact of pushing our views and ideas on to each other. We see the need to use a different approach. I whole hearty believe that we can never go into a room with the opinion we are right and you are wrong. I think when we do that we close our hearts, minds and shut the door to any future communication.

    I would also like to thank you for talking about the Schaivo case. Even though it has been talked about way too much. I know that you and Randy offer a vast knowledge on the subject and I really felt blessed to sit in the classroom. I also thought it very interesting how much emotion is played in this case. I don’t know if you made the connection with the students who have family members that have been in a CVS, are in a state of CVS, or might be in one in the near future. I really thought it was intriguing to hear the words and agreements from my fellow students.

    I just wanted to say that I fell very blessed to be able to learn from you.

    By Blogger Bj, at 4/01/2005 08:24:00 AM  

  • Yep...can't we all just be friends..:)

    Fences..they are everywhere

    By Blogger Bev Mann, at 4/01/2005 11:23:00 PM  

  • Hey Beaner --

    No one is judging. Michael Schiavo has clearly demonstrated what kind of person he is. One year after receiving a huge malpractice settlement, and then shacking up with another woman, he suddenly remembered that Terri wanted to die -- many years after Terri was first injured.

    Did you know that he plans to bury Terri's remains somewhere in Pennsylvania and not tell her parents where?

    Yeah. What a great guy.

    OOOOOH, Sorry! Was I judging that poor man?

    By Blogger Lucinda Ross, at 4/02/2005 01:58:00 PM  

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