I have a surprise. Today is your day to write! For the last five plus years I have done the writing; so today it’s your turn. We are going to take a difficult topic in an attempt to prove that Christians can disagree, dialogue, and still love each other in the end. Please join us in this unique experiment.
There is no doubt that we live in polarized countries and in a polarized world. In the realm of politics, this was on full display during the recent United States inauguration and the protests that immediately followed. Tolerance of others’ opinions is at an all-time low. This lack of tolerance and civility is even heightened with topics of faith and subjects that challenge our religious beliefs and opinions. Many people stake out their opinion and leave no room to entertain the opinions of others. This occurs because each party in the discussion believes vehemently that they are the one who has Biblical truth on their side.
No other subject has more divided Christians over the last thirty years than the subject of homosexuality. The views on this topic are wide and varying. Some Christian churches no longer see homosexuality itself or homosexual acts as sinful. Other churches maintain that to be homosexual is not sinful but to engage in homosexual acts is. Then there are churches that see both being homosexual and engaging in homosexual acts as sinful. Finally, not only do the various Christian denominations differ on their understanding of homosexuality, but within each and every denomination there are divisions and people who hold vastly different views.
I have promised my readers from the outset of 4th Day Letters that I would write about those things that we share in common and avoid those things that split us apart and separate us. I intend to remain true to that commitment here today. I am writing on the subject of Christian civil discourse, and I’m only using the divisive lightning rod subject of homosexuality to make my points. I would hope that we all agree that we should act as Christians even when we disagree. That is today’s point.
As I said, my purpose today is to instigate an active civil discourse that demonstrates Christ like love, mercy and understanding. Rather than me doing the writing here, today I am inviting you to share your views in our comment section below.
This is not an invitation for vociferous bloviating. Jesus rarely attempted to win someone over by shaming them, shouting at them or condemning them. If or when He did this, He seemed to save this type of language solely for those who saw themselves as self-righteous and holding all the answers to life’s questions. A few of the things that got Jesus quite upset were: hypocrisy, superiority, hard – heartedness, and spiritual pride. Let’s do our best to avoid all of these in what we write today.
I see us as sojourners, ragamuffins if you will, on our journey towards eternal life. No one of us has all the answers and most of the time we may be completely lost. The great news of salvation is that Jesus came seeking the lost. None of us has the Wisdom of Solomon. In addition to what I learn about God from the Bible, I learned a great deal about God through my fellow man.
Today is your opportunity to do the writing. State your case simply but then see how you can glean, learn from and grow by reading someone else’s point of view. Avoid judgmental and condemning rhetoric. Steer clear of stating your position in a manner that implies you alone have the one right answer on this topic.
Are you ready? Let’s give this a try. Let’s prove to the world that we Christians can in fact be Christian towards those with whom we share differences, particularly on this unique topic. Be respectful. Be concise. Be yourself. Today’s experiment will only work if those who read this take the time to write below. Please don’t say you don’t have time….because we all do.
I have one final note. I ask that you pray before you write. While I welcome all views, any written in poor taste will not be posted. My fervent hope is that whether it is this issue or any other social or theological topic debated among Christians that we will let the light of Christ shine through our words, writings and social media posts. Let’s inspire each other with our civility.
Okay…it’s your turn….pray…..and then start writing.
Most Heavenly Father, your Son told us “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” Unite us in one mind and one purpose Lord, yours! We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.