“Hey, buddy, do you want to fight? » Not at all. But it’s not a problem these days to find someone who does. Not when the country got as angry as it is now. If you’re not angry, you’re probably feeling defensive around someone who is – someone who wants to tell you how wrong you are.
The world is becoming more polarized by the day, and nothing shows it like the anger that has been erupting everywhere since the latest Supreme Court rulings.
As a believer in Christ, I would say we had some great victories last week. Those who lost – or at least some of them – have something different to say. “Let’s riot in Portland. Let’s storm the state capitol in Arizona! We will make these judges fear for their lives!
This same anger echoes in colleges, workplaces, even at home. I can almost hear it from here: teachers scolding Christian students. Pro-life parents taking the heat from their own teenage children. Christian office workers are reprimanded by feminist bosses.
Victory is good, but it doesn’t always make things easier. The message every Christian under fire needs to hear right now is, “You can stand. By the grace of Christ, you can speak the truth with love.
And that includes pastors. The divisions we are talking about run through Christian congregations, especially across generations. Navigating the differences is not easy.
Disagreements are real and can happen almost anywhere at work, school, home, and even church. We can’t avoid them, so the question must be, “Can we make good disagreements out of them?” The answer is yes, at least on our side of the conversation. The Apostle Paul said it so well: “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone. The entire ensuing passage, Romans 12:9-21, is filled with advice on how Christians should handle disagreements.
Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth with love, and I know how seriously most pastors want to guide and lead their people to speak the truth with love. It’s not easy either. There are so many other things that need to be taught too, and besides, for being a huge national problem, this one hits terribly close to home.
The pastor’s job was big enough, and now it’s almost like the Supreme Court is coming in and throwing a new one at them. It was a good decision—a very good one—but it didn’t reduce the workload. So we hope to help you.
Interactive webinar for upcoming pastors!
That’s why I’m hosting a special online interactive webinar for pastors and teachers on “How to Have a Positive Disagreement in a World That’s Getting Unpleasant”. This happens at 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 7. We are doing it quickly, because this problem requires a quick response.
Lay people are welcome. But it will particularly focus on the teaching, counseling and leadership roles of pastors. It’s not just about how to have a positive disagreement. It is about guiding others toward a better witness, a more loving response, and a more truth-centered engagement in today’s great conflicts.
It will be very interactive.
It will be a great learning conversation. I know you will want to participate! Click here to join!