Criticism. Are we able to handle it?
Conflict. The world in turmoil. ISIS is boldly stating their opinion with violence. Two young teens died last night in Chicago in violent gang war.
The American voters are getting a war of words nightly with the candidates.
Are we growing weary of this daily battle of physical and mental wars?
Physical war: NO! Mental gymnastics: Let’s get prepared!
A.W. Tozer said, “Never be afraid of honest criticism. If the critic is wrong, you can help him; and if you’re wrong, he can help you. Either way, somebody’s helped.”
I am a person who avoids conflict on most fronts. After studying the apostle Paul, I have learned to respect the art of debate and diatribe, when used to confront difficult issues. Contemporary Christians must be trained to communicate faith well and to ponder current events alongside faith theology
In the Wesley tradition, theological conclusions were drawn on Albert Outler’s Wesley Quadrilateral: Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason.
What questions are posed to the church today? What questions are creating chaos in the Christian culture today?
Most differences and divisions are not on false doctrine. Unity is a matter of Truth. Lack of unity and criticism centers on personalities, methods of ministry, allocation of funds and other noteworthy but non-doctrinal matters.
*Women in the ministry—some traditions say NO! some YES!
*Who and how we take communion/Baptism
*Homosexuals in the church. Homosexuals in the ministry (why is this sexual behavior chosen? All adulterers are safe!)
*Music in the church: traditional, contemporary; no music
*Money, Money, Money –using it, abusing it
*Authority and layers and layers and layers –our denomination has it right, yours wrong!
*Rules and Regulations : It is my way or the highway
*Justice for all: children, women, elderly
*Our earth-Coal, Nuclear, Cars, Airplanes, Computers
Leaving behind a huge footprint: we choose
*Gambling: Impact to communities/individuals and how politics plays into big casinos
*Health Care-who pays/who cares?
All these matters need to be discussed — in a way that is honorable. Use the Quadrilateral to bring reason to your thought process.
“To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.”— a sign in Warren Wiersbe’s, office, pastor, author
Debate. Have an opinion. Let us become critics of one another’s opinion to grow. Purposely get together to talk about these things. Be prepared. Equip yourself to defend your stance.
Scripture. Tradition. Experience. Reason.
I believe Paul would approve.
“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens…he reasoned in the synagogue with Jews and God-fearing Greeks…” Acts 17:16,17