Engaging with Controversial Topics in the Church
As I was reading over a few articles recently, I came across one that was about the eight most controversial topics in the church today. I read through the article and had to agree, these are eight things that can be very controversial.
As we all know we can basically take verses from the bible to show why we believe the way we do in regard to each topic. Verses taken out of context can be made to say about anything whether it is right or wrong. I am not going to go into my views on these topics, but just for information here are the topics the article listed as most controversial: gay marriage; abortion; women in leadership; type of worship music; spiritual gifts; baptism; politics from the pulpit; and alcohol. Obviously, there are many more topics in the church today that can be very controversial. We as Christians are never going to totally agree on any of the listed topics, yet we are entitled to our views and interpretations.
The problem with proving I'm right
Problems arise when we decide to stand and defend our view by judging others, condemning them and fighting amongst ourselves to prove our point. It is concerning that we divide up the body of Christ based on our personal views on various issues. The body of Christ was not meant to be divided the way that it has been. Jesus prayed in John 17:21 that "they may all be one, even as You, Father are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." Yet today we seem to be divided against one another according to denomination, doctrine and various other topics in our world. We divide over LGBT issues, race, gender identity, equality for women, inerrancy of the bible, politics, universal salvation or eternal hell. Come up with a topic and we will find a way to disagree over it.
Unity and diversity
The bible mentions in Galatians 3:28 that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus". This is the way it should be today. We are all one in Christ Jesus no matter what our personal beliefs and interpretations may be. Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another". He was talking about a godly love for fellow believers. Jesus also said love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you and love your neighbor as yourself. Sounds to me like he is saying to love all people. We are not going to agree on everything. We are not going to be in complete harmony on all issues, yet we can love, respect and treat each other with a godly love that comes from the Spirit that lives within us. Rather than judging and condemning others who see things differently, accept them with their differences and let of love of God flow out to touch those around you.
Jim was raised in the Methodist church and spent nearly sixty years in the organized church. He and his wife became dissatisfied with the way things were going and became very disillusioned the weekly service format. After several years of looking for answers and trying different churches, they left the religious system and have been living for God outside the walls of religion and traditional church. Jim believes that God loves all people and that everyone should be loved and accepted as is. Jim started writing a blog called Done with Religion where he talks about various topics of Christian living in non-religious ways. Jim and his wife live in the Columbus, Ohio area of the USA. They enjoy their family, traveling and meeting people from all walks of life.
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