It seems Christian dialogue these days is characterized by a intolerance, misunderstanding and hatred.
How do you love people you disagree with? How do you keep your cool when you have strong feelings?
And what is our intolerance of each other doing to the mission of the church?
Pastor and author Scott Sauls discusses how to disagree without being disagreeable.
Welcome to Episode 49 of the Podcast.
Guest Links: Scott Sauls
Links Mentioned in this Episode
3 Things You Can Do Right Away
There is a gracious and civil way to engage others through controversial discussions. Scott Sauls shares his advice for conversing with others who have conflicting views.
- Show grace to outsiders. Christians are called to have integrity to their conventions. Like anything, the first thing is to start with a question: Where did Jesus go with this? There are many instances we see Christ engage with the sexual minority, from prostitutes to adulterers. In all the heated debate and discussion over sexuality, think about how Christ addressed those of his day. There are striking consistencies in how Christ conversed with them. The only people Jesus scolds are those who shame others. Christ enters with grace and starts the conversation without condemnation. When you come from a place of love and kindness, it’s easier to transition to the ethics out of that context.
- Avoid the cowardice of grace without truth and the cruelty of truth without grace. Grace without truth, or truth without grace, have the same root. Our fear of God has been replaced by the fear of man because we care too much about how we look in front of other people. But how God sees us should matter more than anything else because we get our significance from what God thinks. There is a cowardice in what we call grace, and it comes from the fear of a socially awkward moment when we speak the truth. We’re more about self-preservation in that moment than we are about helping the person in front of us become more of what God created them to become. Remember that Grace is not a license to sin. It’s the freedom God gives us to surrender to Him.
- Watch your tone. Jesus said that you’re going to be persecuted, “Everyone will hate you because of Me …” The only thing that runs the risk of being offensive is the truth itself that Christ said you need to tell the world around you. Sometimes we deliver offensive truths that don’t have to be delivered in an offensive way. The apostle Paul tells us to start with affirmation before the critique. Begin with a story, those bridge-building moments that allow you to walk the journey together. Just treat people with simple dignity and respect, and let your words be gracious. Scott says 90% of it has a lot less to do with what we’re saying and more to do with how we deliver it.
Quotes from Scott
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Next Episode: Barnabas Piper
What’s it like to grow up as the pastor’s kid? Better yet, what’s it like to grow up as John Piper’s son? Barnabas Piper talks openly and honestly about the pressures of being a PK and how it messed up his faith before he found the grace of Jesus Christ.
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