I intend for this post to stir up more questions than answers. In our very polarized society, it’s easy to find a cause or position and to identify those on the opposite side as our enemies. Instead of finding some equilibrium in our discourse, the pendulum seems to be swinging further apart on either side.
A few months ago, I asked these questions on Twitter, and I want to repeat them here, since this may be a different audience.
- Does it make you angry that “they” are describing you & your group in a really erroneous way?
- Is it possible that my perception of “them” is just as distorted as their perception of “us?” (Don’t pass over this one too quickly.)
- Or to complicate it further, is my perception of their perception accurate? Hmm?
Since the voices of the extremes may be the loudest, we probably don’t have an accurate picture of “them.” They probably don’t move in lock-step with each other, just as you don’t move in the same manner with your crowd either. I move in a number of circles with various interests, and you probably do also. I don’t agree 100% with any of them. How much simpler would it be if all were of like-minds? It won’t be in this life.
Whether we are looking at disagreements politically, theologically, on social issues, or fiscal philosophies, it may look like the camps have circled the wagons for battle. A deeper examination will usually show the camps aren’t in unity with each other. Hence, the old addage about shooting toward the inside as well as to the outside of the circle.
This is my Pinned Tweet on Dottie Lovelady Rogers@SeeLoveFollow, originally posted on June 5 “Because none of us know the Truth in full, it should cause us to recognize that we need one another. Our approach should be in love and humility seeking God’s wisdom together. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of… (you know how to finish that one.)”
Truth is, I can’t speak for them, just as they can’t speak for me.
You know, I am speaking for myself in all this. What I’m not saying is: (1) that agreement is possible (2) that all points are equally valid (3) that you need to compromise your core principles (4) that some are not out to destroy their opposition, rather than simply winning the argument.
As a society, we seem to have lost the ability to have civil conversations when we disagree. It’s impossible to do so when we aren’t following the same rules of engagement. We aren’t using best practices of persuasion or apologetics, when our emotions become inflamed over what seems crucially important at the moment.
James 3:8 – 10 -but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
-With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
-From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Given the nature of human nature, we all need a Savior.
We’re a mess. We need a Messiah.
Lord, guard my mouth. Guard my mind. Guard my heart. Let me speak faithfully for you, for Your Words are Life.
(Images today from Shutterstock)