I was invited to have a debate on the existence of God the other day – I declined.

I used to debate, and I was good at it, but not anymore – for several reasons.  The primary reason is that in a debate there is a winner and a loser.  God is not a contest and He is not a reward either.  His existence is both obvious and unprovable.  Obvious because of everything He has created (see Rom 1:20).  Unprovable because no matter how many “points” you make, no matter how devastating your argument, your opponent will always resort to: “unless He appears before me this instant I will not believe.”  Though I seriously doubt He will make an appearance, I usually take a step or two aside – just in case.  It is true however that God has been showing Himself to people (Muslims), it pretty much been restricted to those who are actually seeking Him (see Jer 29:13).

Another reason I don’t debate anymore is because in order to be a good debater, you have to close your mind.  You listen to your opponent, but only so that you can dismantle their argument.  Failing that, you change to a different subject – one you have a strong argument for.

Even the language you use in a debate (opponent, argument, winner, point, etc.) is no good.  The other person is not only dearly loved by God (John 3:16), but is not our enemy (Eph 6:12).  I am not interested in winning the argument.  I am interested in giving someone an opportunity to take one step closer to God.  In debate that is impossible, so I do not bother.

I will spend all day long talking with someone who is interested in hearing what I have to say, and I will listen to them – if I believe they are truly interested.  I don’t really care if they believe or not.  I will do my best to understand what they believe.  Not to tear their argument apart, but to see if I can help them to see God in it.  I will not waste one minute of my time in debate, or if I believe the person I am talking to is not interested at all.

The topic is far too important for that