What would it look like if under the “What We Believe” of a church’s website was listed: “We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Let’s have a conversation about the rest.”
Would a conversation be so detrimental?
With all of the issues facing the church currently, one has to ask: What would happen if we would converse rather than state? I remember reading on a church’s
website once that they believed in dispensationalism. Because we all know how important that is…
When I read Bryan Berghoef’s book, “Pub Theology,” I was challenged to seek conversation rather than argument.
As I reread the Gospels recently, I was challenged to seek conversation rather than argument.
And today, I’m challenged to seek conversation rather than argument.
Call me a hippie. Call me a liberal. Call me whatever you want. But wouldn’t we be better off to converse rather than argue?
I am reminded of a friend with whom I was talking recently and he told me that he is turned off by the church because of how they take a stance and do not listen to anyone else with an opposing argument. He told me that it seemed like the church was terrified of an intellectual conversation because of how idiotic and archaic it would make the church seem. I think we are moving away from this mindset, but I think it is still there in some bodies.
In the midst of turmoil and controversy, I want to have a conversation. With everyone. No matter who you are. What you believe. What you don’t believe. I want to have a conversation with you. I want to hear what you believe and why. And I simply want to listen. Just think if we all began listening. What could we accomplish then? Even within the church. If the church would stop arguing internally and began conversing and listening to one another, then could John 17 actually come true? Would the world know that God sent Christ and loves the world like he loves Christ? But conversing does mean that it is not about being right all the time; which is a difficult pill for many of us to swallow, because we cling to being right and if we aren’t right, then we fear what may be true: that we are wrong.
And I think by listening, we can begin to move forward past stereotypes. Stereotypes against the church and stereotypes against that which the church opposes.
By no means am I advocating that we do not seek truth in our conversations. I think that we do need to seek some absolute truth. But I think we need to do it like Jesus did…through conversation.
I had a professor in college who once told my class that: “before you being thinking that someone else’s religion is crazy, remember that you believe in a person that was killed and raised back to life over 2,000 years ago. That is unbelievable. So remember how crazy that sounds to someone else.”
Are we remembering that when we have a conversation with someone? Or are we just thinking about how right we are and how wrong everyone else is?