Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Difficult issues

It is extremely hard to discuss difficult issues.
Often I am wrong. However I usually believe that I am right. But how can I ever know if what I believe to be right is really wrong if I do not have conversations with people who disagree with me.

These conversations are hard because...
Either we attack. The goal suddenly is not to learn but to convince the other person that they are an idiot and I am right. For some strange reason these conversations never seem to go well.
Or we become overly sensitive. Fear of offending someone or coming across as an arrogant pig causes me to be politically sensitive. I hold back on truly expressing myself. Practically this means I often simply avoid any conversation where there may be conflict.

I desire and want real conversations about difficult issues.

Issues like: abortion, homosexuality, Israel/Palestine, women in ministry, violence, appropriate media...


CAD72 said...

Come on, those issues are not that tough. The Bible has answers to each and everyone of those issues. God's opinion is the only one that matters. Many people do not like what God has to say in the Bible but who cares. The Bible is clear and easily understandable. If we use the Bible to form our world view, than those issues are not that difficult. When is the last time you changed your mind because you had a difficult conversation anyway?

Ben said...

I view these as difficult issues for a couple reasons:
1) Devote followers of Jesus who take the bible extremely seriously disagree on these topics. It is interesting how each side believe that they understand the biblical text properly and the other side is reading things into the text.
2) These issues are emotionally charged. People very quickly become defensive and hurt.

Yes, I have changed my mind. Usually it is a slow process (sort of like turning the Titanic). For example I used to believe that the bible clearly taught that women should not be in leadership. Through studying and conversations with other believers I now believe that the bible teaches that women should be fully welcomed into all roles of the church.

CAD72 said...

Which Bible passages do you use to support your view on women being fully welcomed into all roles of the church?

Ben said...

This is a difficult issue. I am very aware that many godly and good people disagree (which is really the point of the blog post). This issue is also difficult to discuss. If you are really wanting to discuss come in and see me.
But here are just a couple of the verses that have lead me to this position:
Judges 4-5 - Deborah a woman is a leader
Acts 2:17 - "your sons and daughters will prophesy" - men and women are equal
Acts 18:18-28 - Priscilla and Aquila are treated as equals (Romans 16:3)
Romans 16:1-2 - Phoebe most likely carried the letter of Romans to Rome. As the letter carrier she would also have been in a place of teaching.
1 Corinthians 11:5 - it is assumed that woman are prophesying. And if you are wondering about the role of a prophet in the community of faith look to the Old Testament. They were leaders and teachers.
Galatians 3:26-29 - All are equal in the sight of God.