Kendra looks back on the past year and the conversations she’s been having and appreciating in helping to end the pandemic.
This sort of thing is soooo important and probably the biggest problem I’ve struggled with throughout the pandemic:
I wanted to counter this misinformation, but I needed to do so carefully and with humility. And I did not want to alienate people. Whenever I was tempted to respond in frustration or anger, I would remind myself that speaking the truth in love would keep the lines of communication open with the hope of changing someone’s mind.
I think a lot of people’s temptation is to just write off evangelicals in light of various anti-science perspectives, but we kind of need everyone on board to beat this virus. I appreciate Kendra’s perspective to push back against the “easy road” of just dismissing evangelicals, but instead her noting:
In a time where many evangelical Christians do not trust the scientific community, events like this are key to re-establishing that trust. I am thankful for pastors, like Dr. Anderson, who act as bridge builders between the scientific community and their congregations. It takes courage to challenge peoples’ suppositions, even when love is the motivation.
In light of her closing paragraph, I wonder how we can help frame things back to being thankful for the vaccine, instead of thinking it is “evil” as many people I know do:
God, in his amazing love, has provided us a way out of this pandemic. As I walked into the vaccine center last week to receive my first shot, I thanked him for the gift of this vaccine.
Maybe just more Christians saying this, which almost sounds foreign to my ears, even though I feel the same way is one way we can begin to plant seeds.
I felt the very same way reading it. It just quenched my soul and gave me a lot of hope that there are people like her out there still. Because I’ve just grown very weary!
This is an excellent article! Over the weekend I listened to the podcast version of the discussion between Drs. Anderson, Collins, and Haarsma and thoroughly enjoyed it. Can’t tell you how refreshing it it so hear believers discuss these issues so thoughtfully and gracefully on the BioLogos platforms!
I feel likewise.Welcome to the forum, Garrett. It is always good to know we are not alone. In dealing with the mass of misinformation out there, we have hope than gently leading people to the truth makes an impact.
Thank you, Phil. I’m sure BioLogos’s footprint of encouragement, and even just the effects of thoughtful posts in this forum, are much bigger than any of us realize!
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This is a great approach–even if people seem to be willfully ignorant, to approach them with kindness and respect. It’s very much like talking with people from other points of view–we will retain friendships and get a lot farther if we emphasize empathy, rather than accusations of dishonesty, etc. After all, many of us struggle with the same issues, or similar ones.