dimanche 11 décembre 2011

French Kissing Debate: A Summary

Some months ago, a ferocious discussion erupted on JC forum about christian living. As it can be imagined, the debated was divided in two sides waring against each other. The hot topic was 'french kissing'. At the end of the debates as head cooled off ... i was asked to write a short summary of the debate. I couldn't do that but I at least made a short review of the debate. Below is my then commentary. Enjoy!
I am not going to argue anything here, nor do i even am interested to this issue anymore. As friend pointed out to me, at the beginning it was funny but now it is just annoying and boring. I agree with her. I do feel so too, and my discomfort started around the 25th April. So why do I write this? Because I have been incessantly asked to do that. As a moderator i decided at least to shed some light for those who have a foggy view on the how the topic debates ended.

Few weeks ago on Jeunesse Chretienne (J.C) we had an exchange about the morality of kissing (french-kissing). The question that started it all was this: "IS KISSING PERMISSIBLE FOR A DATING CHRISTIAN COUPLE?".

Since then i have received different reactions from different persons targeting me. One of the J.C member told me that he didn't like the way i became soft with people. It seems at least to him that i was somehow encouraging the compromising of biblical doctrines. He wished i could deal with ideas the way i used to do months ago, in all strictness. The second one, told me that i was so harsh and insensitive that it seems at least to him that i have a demon. These are not the only perspective i've heard about me, but they are just the two opposite extremes that i have heard. The rest of reactions i received can well fall somewhere between those two extreme position. So just like i said in the beginning of the debate, whatever i say or do, someone will be tick off by me. I am used to it now and i find no offense in them at all. I receive criticisms and think about them. If i find value in them I embrace it. If i don't, i just put it aside.

So to my friend who doesn't like my lack of strictness, i hope this post will not reinforce your discomfort. smile. And to my friend who perceived demon(s), i hope that this post will comfort you with the knowledge that i have restrained that demon of hunting you until we meet for another debate if any in the future.

However since the exchange seemed to stop, some people contacted me (all of them from a different view point than mine) asked me if i could at least make a conclusion about that topic. After thinking about those request, i decided not to make a conclusion since in my view it is not a biblical topic that deserve such a treatment. It is just human beings opinions. Nothing more. So since we didn't reach a consensus, i am not going to self appoint myself to represent that consensus. What i can at least do is to write a short overview of what happened and then leave it at that!

This question was initiated by Oliver. I don't even know why! (smile). Shortly after that question an avalanche of reaction crashed on the once upon a time silent J.C forum. It became evident from the beginning that there were two side to this issue. The first one said that it was a sin. And the second said it was not a sin. And each side had their own particularities.

1. The "Kissing-is-a-sin" Side:

In this side, i was able to identified these views. a) It is a sin and an abomination, Please don't question me! Take it like that. b) It is a sin because it could lead to sex. c) It is a sin not because it is a preliminary to sex but because it is of the 'sexual order'. d) It is possibly a sin because it has a cocktail of hormonal phenomenons militating against sexual purity.

2. The "Kissing-is-not-a-Sin" Side:

a) It is not a sin, the couple have to make their own choice. b) It is not a sin but it should be avoided because it doesn't help one's sexual purity. c) It is not a sin because the Bible doesn't define it as sin. d) It is not a sin because it can also be use with two other known non-sexual driven intentions.

So if you got lost as you read the exchange for the past weeks, it is not your fault. Proponent of the same tenets had themselves diverging views on how to tackle that issues. I guess the really headache for those who tried to debate was to keep up with each person particular view. Some where adamantly consistent with their views from beginning to the end. Others not so much. They exhibited quite an ability to tap-dance around their position from point a) to point d). So catching them demanded an effort since their arguments mutated as they got exposed to new opposite arguments.

Some questions were asked, some were answered and others remained unanswered, probably to the end of time. The debate showed a dynamic of progress in the argumentation, moving from basic definitions to asking the hard question. It is at the hard question that we lost the synchronized progress. Some just decided
to progress no more, while other decided to digress bringing the dialogue at its initial position which had already been dealt with. That is when it became evident that the subject under discussion had reached a dead-end due to the unwillingness of the debaters to move the dialogue forward for a meaningful assessment of its status and its implication. So as you can see, i can't give a conclusion to the debate just yet. I can only
say that people who debate or publicly show their views are very unlikely to change their minds since they are knee-deep into the dialogue. So expecting to see people making open concession to the other side good points demand an amazing effort of honesty and quite a mastery of one's ego. This is really a tough task. So don't expect to see one of this from both side anytime soon as this dialogue proceed (if ever).

The other point to note is that both side hold their position based on their respective christian views of what the bible teaches. It turned out that this exchange was more of a debate about personal values and life principles. This is why it was so hard on people. No one likes that a view that s/he cherish be put down. Because when it is done, we feel a part of us being put down too. And this is/can be depressing. Dr. Ravi Zacharias said that a person can change his opinion without changing who he is. But if someone changes his conviction he can not do that without changing who he is. For those who clanged at their perspective as part of their opinions, no big shock had happened to them. But for those who clanged to their perspectives as part of their conviction we expect some major heart troubles and sleeplessness. As i read all the posts and
remember all my talk with people off J.C, i realized that both side had people who took the issue either as their opinion or as their life conviction. On my side the kissing issue was just a matter of opinion and it will continue to be so as long as the Bible will not be revised by the Church to include modern or post-Nicaean writings. So since this is not likely to happen or that the evidences that i used in my arguments are not likely to be taken down anytime soon either, i can confidently say that i ain't close to be changing my views either. I could be wrong in my self-assessment of the issue but i really doubt it! My views and my advises about this issue can be found in any of my writings on this issues since the beginning of the dialogue.

The debate took 16 days, from the 14th April (First post) to the 30th April (last post to date).

I end this by reminding people that I always try to inform people before things gets into stormy waters. Just four days after the dialogue was initiated (on the 18th) I advised: "So i propose that we keep some level of consistency by genuinely representing the literature/sources we use in this dialogue otherwise i see the storm ahead! And it isn't a pretty picture if you ask me! So let's avoid any preliminaries of a massive solar wind on J.C, isn't? smile". I am sure that for some people they see me as being unfair and to others i have been relaxing my strictness. Anyhow, if you asked me i'll say that maybe both are right. However as far as i am concerned i have just done what i said i will do. Nothing more, nothing less.

With this note, I end wishing you all a very good merry Christmas season and weekend in Jesus' name.

2 commentaires:

  1. Dr. Ravi Zacharias said that a person can change his opinion without changing who he is. But if someone changes his conviction he can not do that without changing who he is.

    I like this quote!

    Jean Paul T.