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August 29, 2007

Attack Dogs of Christendom

David Aikman's recent article over at Christianity Today has some wise words for us (especially me) to keep in mind as we blog here at The Point. He's not arguing that we need to sweep our differences under the rug, but that we should be especially careful how we discuss issues. We need to keep in mind that unbelievers are reading what we are writing, so we need to make certain that they hear a spirit of Christian unity and love than transcends our theological disagreements or our different ways of applying God's Truth in our own lives. Here's how he ends his article:

No attribute of civilized life seems more under attack than civility. If Christians blast each other from here to eternity with characterizations that differ little from the coarse vulgarity of cable TV, where on earth is the witness that brings grace and savor to our crumbling civilization? Where is the gentleness, modesty, and wisdom with which we are supposed to shame those who mock and accuse the Body of Christ from outside? Christians should set an example. By all means criticize fellow Christians if necessary, but do so with grace.

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Comments

Brian

Thanks for passing along that guideline to keep in mind!

labrialumn

There is, however, a grave danger in watering down the truth. And some day, some of those people might actually read what the prophets, or Jesus of Nazareth had to say.

No question about being civil, but that does not mean watering down disagreements, as some today seem to believe. It does mean not using vulgar language, not bearing false witness (including the arrogance of thinking you know better what some other communion believes than they themselves do), etc.

Shane Trammel

Diane,

Christianity does need unity, that is true. However, the truth of God's Word will divide.

Consider Galatians 1:6-9.

http://www.wtsbooks.com/?utm_source=trammel&utm_medium=trammel

Diane Singer

If you read the original article, I think you'll see that Aikman is not pretending that we don't have serious disagreements. However, the WAY we express those disagreements is important. Will we speak to one another in a way that respects our status as fellow children of God? Will our conversations, even our deepest disagreements, be couched in terms that seek restoration and healing? Or will our words be so hateful that unbelievers see nothing in us (and, by association, in Christ) that they want to be part of? I remember a story about Gandhi who once said that were it not for the Christians he knew, he would have become a Christian! He liked what he knew about Jesus, but not what he saw in Jesus' followers. That's Aikman's point, too, I think.

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