One of the recurring themes has been the way that Christians seem to want to make extensive lists about what it means to be Christian (i.e. Republican, anglo, heterosexual, fill-in-your-favorite-item-on-the-list and you know the list I’m talking about). At first when I heard this I was very defensive… angry even. I thought, that’s just because the rest of you are wrong & we’re right and you just can’t handle the truth! Over time I am beginning to see that my approach was exactly what they are talking about.
Even when it comes to issues that the Scripture seems to address clearly, there is a temptation to beat people up with those things. I certainly don’t have it all together – on any level. So, I am learning that it is the approach to those discussions that matters. Pre-Christian people are even willing (in most cases) to accept the fact that I may not share their opinion if I am willing to listen to their thoughts and not crucify them for not seeing things the way I may see them.
In the end I am beginning to see that this stance gives credence to the Gospel. It reflects more accurately the spirit of Jesus and it affords me an opportunity to help people understand things that may not make sense to them.
I remember an old preacher used to say… “The Gospel really isn’t the good news if it doesn’t reach those who need it.” While he was talking about world missions to unreached people groups, I think the same could be said of our sometimes puzzling approaches to discussions on topics that we identify as signposts of our Christianity.