Ravi Zacharias said that there are three levels of debate.
- The Arts
He said that we should debate at the first level , illustrate at the second level, and apply at the third level. If we debate at the third level we produce confusion. This is really good advice.
A good example of this is the issue of the minimum wage. Many Christians ask if Jesus would support minimum wage laws. They argue that because the cares for the poor, he would be in favour of raising the minimum wage. This is a good example of how debating at the third level is misleading.
If we approach this issue from the top level, we have to ask several different questions. Are employers free to decide what wage they will offer for a particular task? Would Jesus use state power to force employers to pay higher wages? Should the state prevent people from accepting a wage rate that is lower than a particular level? The answer is that Jesus would not force employers to pay higher wages.
In the parable of the workers, Jesus told us that employers can decide what wages to offer to their employees (Matt 20:1-16). Potential employees can choose to accept or reject the wages offered. The state should not be deciding wage rates. Approached from this level, it becomes clear that a minimum wage cannot be justified from the scriptures.