Governor Mike Huckabee is creeping up on Senator John McCain in the polls!! The momentum is his for the taking. He has challenged Senator McCain to a debate prior to the March 4th primary, and 10,000 voters have signed their name to his petition. What about it, Senator McCain? Can we please have a coherent conversation between the two of you about the issues? If you’d like to see a debate between McCain and Huckabee, sign the letter here.
Debating is a form of persuasion that has been around a very long time. One of the strongest Biblical debaters was Apollos. Ever heard of him? He was a Jew who became a Christ-follower after hearing the evidence. Here’s what we find in Acts 18:
24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[b] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
27When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
In the original Greek, we learn that Apollos didn’t stand at a lectern like today’s politicians. A debate back then was very spirited. In fact, we’re told that he eutonos diakatelegchomai.
eutonos — forcibly or vehemently
diakatelegchomai — to confute with rivalry and effort or in a contest
In other words, Apollos was able to overwhelm in an argument, or to conclusively refute the Jews’ arguments that Jesus was not the Messiah. In the KJV, we learn that he “mightily convinced” them.
I’d like Mike Huckabee — and Senator McCain — to have a chance to mightily convince conservatives voters in a televised debate, wouldn’t you?
Two thousand years ago, public debates were used as a form of public persuasion. If you wanted to convince the public, you debated, and the listening public then got to evaluate the debaters’ arguments. The same holds true today. Conservatives deserve to hear an honest debate on the issues between the remaining Republican candidates. The Democrats are down to two “top tier” candidates and have had 2 debates in the past two weeks. I, for one, would really enjoy hearing McCain and Huckabee debate about their specific plans on taxes, illegal immigration, second amendment rights, education, parental rights, and yes, foreign policy.
The rest of this post today will be very brief. I want to write about pain. I’m talking gritting-your-teeth, everything makes you cry kind of pain. It has settled down on my neck and shoulders, the product of early onset arthritis and a neck that needs an adjustment (and, at this pain-filled moment, an attitude that needs an adjustment, too!) But I wanted to share a Word from God with you. Perhaps you, too, are dealing with some pretty severe pain today. Or maybe someone around you is just being a ‘pain in the neck!’ Whatever the source, the Lord brought me comfort in the words in Psalm 3:
1 O LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
How many are the pain receptors firing into my brain!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift [b] up my head.
You lift up my head when I can barely lift it off the pillow.
4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
I have faith that he WILL heal me; he WILL answer me from his holy hill.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
This pain will not keep me from sleep tonight.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.
7 Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
Break the teeth of this wicked pain, O my God!
8 From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
My deliverance comes from the LORD. May yours come from him, also.