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How to Address Differences without Attacking People

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By
  • Chip Ingram

March 17, 2017

  • New
  • Christian Living

Last week I shared a video titled “How to be a Christian in the Trump Era.” It sparked a lot of dialogue and prompted thousands of shares and responses. Clearly this is an important subject, and I realize that it triggers high emotions for various reasons. It was encouraging to learn that many of you found the message to be helpful, and I know that some of you still have some questions. I want to thank each of you who responded by boldly sharing your opinions, concerns and even criticisms.

As much as it was my aim for my video message to be apolitical, I recognize in retrospect that in our current climate, it’s difficult for anything to NOT be viewed through a political lens. If you watched the 8-minute segment, I hope that you’re able to see that there was truly no leaning for or against President Trump (or any other party/political figure). Rather, the intention of the message was to address something far more personal to me: “How should we as Christians engage each other during politically-charged times?”

As believers, there are certain issues that require us to stand on the truth of Scripture:

  • The Bible and science are clear on the point at which life begins.
  • Scripture is absolutely clear about family and relationships.
  • There is a time and place to defend our liberties.

The heart of my message was not about WHAT we stand for, but about HOW we should take these stands as followers of Jesus.

Why? Because how we engage with those who don’t share the same beliefs affects our credibility and our testimony. Our ability to take a stand in ways that doesn’t condemn and alienate others is something that matters to God.

In Ephesians 4:29, the Apostle Paul says , “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” In other words – we should attack problems and issues, not people.

Right now, I’m sure that many Christians in America feel overwhelmed with fear, anger and frustration. But I believe that God is good, powerful, all knowing and holds history in His hands. If I trust in Him, then I must rest in that. In this truth there is peace that allows us to move forward toward what’s right and take a strong stance even when it’s necessary to make great sacrifices to do so. These things are important.

It’s also more important than ever that we don’t sacrifice the HOW for the WHAT right now – because God cares greatly about both.

I appeal to you all – let’s remain diligent to communicate in ways that reflect Ephesians 4:29, whether that’s face-to-face, on social media or anywhere else. When we are called to take a stand, God equips us to do so in a way that doesn’t attack, demean or dishonor people we disagree with. In spite of our differences, we must continue to treat others with respect and love.

So friends, let’s resist the desire to shut people down and instead be part of the healing process. Let’s be agents of light, not heat, and remain dedicated to making a difference together. God bless you, and thanks again for joining me in this important discussion.

About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram is the senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, and teaching pastor and president of Living on the Edge. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of 15 books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife Theresa have four grown children and eleven grandchildren.

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