I can lose a girl in less than 10 words.
There are all kinds of possibilities. The classics are, “I watch football all day long,” or, “I still live with my mother.” Or there's my favorite, “I want to be a writer.” But those all take six words.
I can do it in just four simple, harmless words. In her book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee's character Atticus Finch says it's important to climb into another's skin and walk around in it for a while.
For Christians, Jesus says the same thing in the Sermon on the Mount, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” However, I've discovered many megachurches and popular radio programs teach something very different. These adherents scour the Web for posts that agree only with their viewpoint. Compromise is a dirty word. And anyone who disagrees is obviously evil, stupid or part of a scientific conspiracy (which, by the way, is impossible).
Take the dispute over evolution as an example. Never mind what the most important historical figures in Christianity have said. You know, like Augustine, who wrote way back in the fifth century that Genesis should not be taken as a seven-day creation account, and even devised his own early big bang theory. Or Thomas Aquinas back in the 13th century, who showed that in every event both God and nature are 100 percent involved, paving the way for understanding the hand of God at work in evolution. Forget also that in the early 20th century, Christian denominations had fully embraced the theory of evolution. This changed with the rise of fundamentalism. Now we live in a different age, one that has amnesia to the progress of the last 2,000 years.
So after long talks of families, work, and recreational pursuits, I look my date straight in the eyes and say, “I agree with evolution.” It works every time.
Bruce Meyer writes about the relationship between the physical universe and the pursuit of spirituality.