A last year I wrote a post, "liberal" or "conservative" ugly is still ugly, in response to a question that I posted on a Facebook poll [See Question].
In this post I posed some ways that maybe, just maybe, we might exhibit some ways of being that would not always have to lead our interactions down a pathway of childish name-calling, incendiary demonizations and smug characterizations.
So this is my idea. What if we all agreed to keep a few things in mind in times of engagement? We would agree on a covenant of sorts, I suppose, as we engage in conversations about those issues that some would deem "third rail" in nature. I figure we can do a few things. One, avoid the topics; two, talk about the other people as if they were not part of the body; or three, sit down face-to-face and see where God may lead us. If, at the end of the day, unity in our current configuration is not possible, so be it, but let us get there knowing that through it all we honored the Body of Christ to which we claim to belong.
So, here is what I will try to remember when engaged in a conversation, no matter how passionate, with someone with whom I disagree.
I will remember that . . .
- above all, you are my brother/sister in Christ;
- it is not helpful if I think I am inherently better than you;
- you are not solely defined by one issue/belief;
- we all have times when we do not act as Christ would hope;
- I do not own the Truth;
- I can be confident without being patronizing;
- I want to try and understand where you are coming from;
- your opinions come from a place of faith;
- the body is stronger with us together working through tensions;
- that I can not "take my ball and go home" simply because we disagree;
- if, at any point, I feel like your opinions are oppressive or
unjust, I reserve the right to respectfully disengage and hope you will
- God is bigger than any of this;
Other things that should be on the list? Best guess if we can do it? Have you already seem some folks living this?