When I was 13 years old, I was reading a very ambitious book for my age… I don’t recall the exact name, but it had something to do with the rise of Christianity in Western Civilization. My uncle, a Doctor of Theology, saw me at the kitchen table and immediately walked over and picked the book up from my hands. He turned to the back of the book and began to read about the author. After about five minutes, he handed the book back to me. I asked him what he was looking at and he explained to me the importance of understanding the “perspective” of the person whose book you’re reading. You see, the title of the book was ambiguous enough that it could have been written by an atheist who didn’t tell the story from a Christian world view, but rather a secular. Don’t get me wrong, atheists have the right to write books too, but it’s important that we understand what we’re reading and whose perspective we are digesting.
The same goes when watching the news, reading the newspaper, or listening to a speaker. It’s okay to read and listen to different viewpoints, it’s just important that we understand the angle, perspective, and motive of the person delivering the message.
Personally, I like to watch opposing viewpoints because it helps me understand the other side of the argument. It helps me to challenge my own belief system and hopefully strengthen it.
The best debaters know both sides of the argument. They can argue the opposite side just as well as they can argue their own. Every “side” has its “points” and that is why the country is so divided. But YOUR truth comes down to what is consistent with who you are as a person, your faith and your belief system.
My uncle taught me an invaluable lesson that day. It has since stayed with me for the majority of my life. Everything I read, everything I hear, I always consider the source and where they’re coming from and why. What do they have to gain and what is their motive/agenda? Sometimes there isn’t one, or the motive is for good, but my point is simply to be AWARE.