Bitterness seems to be the occupational hazard of church people, including clergy. Because we are socially conditioned to be nice, we often swallow our rage when something irritating or hurtful happens to us, all in the name of keeping the peace and taking the high road. The problem comes when we neglect to deal with the anger, either because we dislike confrontation or because life simply moves us on to the next unpleasantness.
At church, we make it an unspoken “policy” to stay away from blatantly political discourse. That doesn’t mean, however, that we are unable or unwilling to take a stand on the issues of right and wrong.
Have you ever played tug of war? The point of the challenge is to pit two teams against each other in a test of skill and strength. Teams pull on opposite ends of a rope, with the goal being to bring the rope a certain distance in one direction against the force of the opposing team’s pull.
A partial eclipse of the moon occurred in April 1948. That event prompted various discussions in the small town where I lived. The old-timers sitting in front of Tidwell’s store seized this occasion to tell the children about a solar eclipse during their childhood. One old-timer said it got so dark the “chickens went to roost.” Since that group was prone to exaggerate, I have wondered about the “chicken roosting” story all my life.
Evangelism isn’t what it used to be. But then, it never has been. Culture shifts have always required new approaches in sharing the Good News. In this third and final column of this series, I invite our churches to do an evangelism upgrade.
The story is told of a Caucasian woman who, after boarding a flight from South Africa to England, realized her seatmate was a dark-skinned African man. She was not pleased with this arrangement and expressed her displeasure to a flight attendant.
As politics in many ways continues to divide our cities, states and certainly nation, one important question arises for us as believers: How do I remain committed to my principles and continue to stick up for what I believe is right without alienating those who most need the love of Christ (i.e., those who may be unbelieving and see me daily)?