Group Publishing
CMM0514
Subscribe Button

Tackle Touchy Topics — and Survive

Istock _000020292891xsmallThe planned discussion on same-sex marriage really riled him up. He feared the forum might attract "seekers" and lead them astray.

He contacted his pastor and asked, "Why are we exposing unbelievers with no biblical backing to the worst of false doctrine?"

Though this man never attended any of the discussions on controversial topics, he left his church because he said dealing with these issues was "nothing short of compromise."

Dealing with controversial subjects at church is, well, controversial. Many churches follow one of two approaches-neither of which is healthy.

  • Some church leaders and teachers choose to simply avoid any touchy topics. They fear people will disagree and walk away mad.
  • Others attempt to shut down discussion (and thinking) about controversial issues with a monologue from the bully pulpit. They dispense the "right answers" and walk away.

Many reject the idea of hearing from those with differing views. The man cited above said, "I just don't see anything beneficial in bringing obvious wolves in sheep's clothing to deceive the sheep, and then gobble up those who are already lost."

I'm afraid this fellow would have been really peeved with Jesus, who not only listened to those with differing views, but actually employed one such "wolf" among his 12 associates. Throughout his ministry, Jesus did not hide from touchy topics. He did not shun or silence those who held opposing views. He knew his truth would stand up well in the marketplace of ideas.

The church of today would do well to follow Jesus' example. We must demonstrate that our faith is relevant to all of life, no matter how controversial or difficult the issues. And we must admit that we cannot shield our people from touchy topics. If we don't deal with these issues within the church, our people will simply talk about them outside the church, without the benefit of a scriptural perspective. How could that be a better alternative?

NAVIGATING GNARLY STUFF

With Lifetree Cafe, a national network of conversation cafes, we often tackle touchy subjects. After several years of creating content for these weekly discussions, I've learned some things about navigating controversial subjects in a Christian environment. Here are some of the secrets:

1. Set a respectful tone. At the beginning, acknowledge that the issue is a hot one. Mention that people hold widely differing views on the topic. Do not disparage or belittle those who think differently than you. Establish that this will be a time for a respectful exploration of the issues.

2. Train your people how to differ. Express the expectation that people may disagree, but will do so in a manner that is friendly and loving. Ask everyone to listen to others, without interrupting, or passing hasty judgment, or plotting vengeful retorts. Encourage people to share their perspectives and stories in positive ways. Incidentally, this training and experience also prepares your people to interact and glow their faith when they're out in the world.

3. Allow give and take. Touchy topics-even those you believe have only One True Side-need to be aired in an environment of interaction. One loud voice at the microphone rarely settles anything. Allow differing views. Encourage questions. Engage people in conversation. This can even be done during sermon times with large groups of people. Simply ask thought-provoking questions and provide some time for people to talk in pairs or threes or fours.

4. Let the scriptures speak. Inject relevant scripture into the discussion-not as a proof text but as a resource and light. Resist the temptation to contort the scripture into saying something more than it actually says. Let your people explore how the scripture may apply to touchy topics. And if different passages provide different perspectives, encourage your people to grapple with those contrasting perspectives.

5. Trust the Holy Spirit. Pray. Invite God into the discussion. Incorporate God's word. Air differing views. Even allow Judas to speak. Then let the Holy Spirit do what the Holy Spirit does best. Have confidence in the power of God's truth to prevail in the hearts of your people.

Posted at 12:08

6 Comments:

lewannadawid said...
c You will be proud to show off your designer handbag cheap mulberry handbags cheap mulberry. d Your authentic bag will last for a long time mulberry bag sale mulberry bag sale. e When you purchase your next authentic designer bag you can add it to your well cared for gorgeous collection. Get total enjoyment from your authentic designer handbags and bag for a lifetime mulberry handbags uk. No doubt that buying a designer handbag requests some sort of experience mulberry official. Actually a lot of people spend thousands and thousands of dollars each day to buy a fashion bag, as that would give them a sense of felling satisfied and a sense of pride. Related Articles Fashion Handbags, Discount Handbags Leather Handbags for Sale at Low Price How To Compare Different Designer Handbags Replica Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Chloe, Dior, Miu Miu, Prada, Hermes, DG, Jimmy Choo handbag, wallet, shoes, clothing, jewelry Designer Handbags are Not Just for Celebrities But do you have a budget limit in obtaining your next handbag and in same time you want it to so special I think when you come to buy a designer handbag you should also consider the cost, actually some designer bags may cost you over 12,000 if you decided to buy an original one mulberry womens purses.. <a href="http://mulberryoutletsbag.webs.com/">mulberry bags outlet</a> 9. Etc mulberry bags uk. b mulberry bayswater mulberry handbags. Formula Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang72 Ling Yang Jiao Cornu Antelopis, Antelope Horn 4 mulberry mens wallets.5g mulberry mitzy. soothes liver, eliminates wind, clear heat Gou Teng Ramulus cum Uncis Uncariae, Gambir Vine Stem, Gambir 9g. restores relationship between fire and wood pericardium and liver Sang Ye Folium Mori Albae, White Mulberry Leaf 6g mulberry womens bags mulberry womens messenger bags.. <a href="http://outletmulberryshop.webs.com/">mulberry outlet shop</a> I believe that most people desire to have the designer bags mulberry alexa mulberry alexa bags. However, not every woman has the enough budgets to buy a designer handbag mulberry bag. Thus, most women consider buying cheap designer bags. In this post, Id like to share some information about cheap designer bags mulberry mens tote bags mulberry mens wallets. Related Articles I am within the flea market for a camcorder, what039s the best Almost all the women yearn for the designer bags mulberry out. But these handbags always are very expensive, and most ladies fail to own them mulberry tote bags. However, in modern society, it is possible for you to buy the designer handbags at cheap prices.. <a href="http://shopmulberry.webs.com/">mulberry shop</a> You can see their art in the designer hand bags which can be adorn by them in a very beautiful manner bags for women. They make the bag more beautiful and attractive by the artistic cunning of their hands mulberry bags uk. Rajastahnis make the things more beautiful by the designing them more gorgeously according to high demand and the fashion of the ongoing trend mulberry handbag mulberry coin purses. The art of Rajasthanis is unmatchable in the context of the creativity and uniqueness mulberry london. The different kinds of fashion handbags are designed by the bag designers. These handbags are adorned by embroidery, mirror work, animal motifs, and floral designs mulberry shoulder bags mulberry sale. The culture of making the designer hand bags in Rajasthan is highly appreciated by the womens.. <a href="http://bagsmulberry.webs.com/">replica mulberry bags</a>
March 6, 2013 06:02
wsxucyOR said...
ugg boots for women ugg boots cheap mens uggs , <a href=http://www.notleysgolf.co.uk/>uggs outlet</a> , john lewis ugg boots cheap ugg boots uk ugg boots sale uk , freakishly rolling bolvir entert
August 31, 2013 07:45
ixvahmMU said...
silver toms black toms cheap toms shoes for women , http://www.affiliate-fx.com/ - cheap toms shoes for women toms shoes cheap , white toms toms shoes for cheap , bruit monopolists parmet chimeric
August 31, 2013 10:14
cmhhzcHP said...
coach diaper bags on sale discounted coach bags online coach outlet , <a href=http://www.streetscooterchrome.com/>authentic coach outlet store online</a> , coach handbags outlet coach outlet clearance cheap coach purses online coach online outlet store , supranumerary antiganting winesrare namecite
September 1, 2013 01:45
mjzryuunyc said...
This afternoon I really wanted to discuss the subject as in <u><a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2uxKzHtI4c&list=PLLJOSEER2U8fX_sd4CU1prcqA-FegqS1y>big band North West England </a></u> plus the implications which in fact <b>big band Wigan </b> also has for us within our lives. <b>big band Manchester </b> can certainly truly mystify the more senior generation a whole lot more in comparison to the younger generation it appears with out over-generalizing the simple fact seeing that quite a few more senior people are familiar with more about <u>band Leigh </u> compared to just about anyone I am aware of. Whilst many of us know <b>big band Preston </b> surfaces in typical discussion a great deal more over <b>big band Preston </b> used to and I assume it is certainly an indicator of our times that in fact <b>big band Bolton </b> in addition to related key phrases probably have concentrated many of our thoughts lately. Without a doubt if you had have spoken to me at an earlier stage during my personal life Many people are certainly going to start talking about <i><a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2uxKzHtI4c&list=PLLJOSEER2U8fX_sd4CU1prcqA-FegqS1y>big band Manchester </a></i> then at that moment in time I undoubtedly would never have believed you on account that then the majority of people had hardly any need for <b>big band Blackburn </b>. Anyway I don't need to bore anybody so if <u>band Leigh </u> isn't your field of interest or if you're not necessarily intrigued then in that case certainly it really is almost certainly most appropriate to close this post and talk about a subject way more motivating compared to <i>big band Bury </i>. it could be tremendous if perhaps there were more professionals definitely occupied with <b>The Managers Big Band </b> and obviously we could surely have a useful discussion as regards to <b>big band Blackburn </b>. It really is a shame if people today just don't follow their personal desire on account that these people presume many other individuals could quite possibly never be interested. It truly is silly once you do think about the problem that a lot of individuals can be considered truly keen on <u>Book the Managers Big Band </u> but other people may find <b>band Leigh </b> the most dull topic available, but I'm reckoning it is what precisely helps make us special.
September 3, 2013 02:19
kibgctukblw said...
<a href=http://baja90ccatvleverset.atvpartsbest.com>china 150cc scooter switches</a> <a href=http://ssr125ccatvcdi.atvpartsbest.com>50cc atv camshaft sale</a> <a href=http://china200atvbrakecalipers.atvpartsbest.com>china 200 atv brake calipers</a> <a href=http://baja400ccatvleftswitchassy.atvpartsbest.com>china 400 cc scooter chain and sprocket</a> <a href=http://jetmoto50ccscooterrelays.atvpartsbest.com>scooter triple clamps sale</a> <a href=http://jonway150ccscooterpistons.atvpartsbest.com>43cc 47cc 49cc atv brake cable</a> <a href=http://90atvshockssale.atvpartsbest.com>90 atv shocks sale</a> <a href=http://110atvhandguardssale.atvpartsbest.com>110 atv handguards sale</a> <a href=http://150ccdirtbikethrottlessale.atvpartsbest.com>150cc dirt bike throttles sale</a> <a href=http://jetmoto400ccatvkeyset.atvpartsbest.com>125cc atv brake shoes</a> <a href=http://cheap110ccdirtbikedecorativeplate.atvpartsbest.com>cheap 110cc dirt bike decorative plate</a> <a href=http://50ccdirtbikecooling.atvpartsbest.com>50cc dirt bike cooling</a> <a href=http://roketa110ccatvswitches.atvpartsbest.com>150cc dirt bike gloves sale</a> <a href=http://atvenginecovers.atvpartsbest.com>atv engine covers</a> <a href=http://cheap90atvrectifiers.atvpartsbest.com>cheap 90 atv rectifiers</a> <a href=http://peace250ccscooterdrivingwheels.atvpartsbest.com>china 70cc dirt bike sprocket</a> <a href=http://200ccdirtbikeaccessoriessale.atvpartsbest.com>200cc dirt bike accessories sale</a> <a href=http://coolsterdirtbikeenginekits.atvpartsbest.com>supermach 250cc scooter carburetor kits</a> <a href=http://baja90ccdirtbikebrakes.atvpartsbest.com>china 50cc scooter signal switch</a> <a href=http://ssrscootergrips.atvpartsbest.com>taotao 150cc atv camshaft</a>
March 7, 2014 10:17

Post a comment

Archive

 
Copyright © 2014 by Group Publishing, Inc.