With the American Election just tomorrow now, I think that Warrens words, quoted in a helpful post from Frank Viola entitled, “20 Reasons Why the Christian Right & the Christian Left Won’t Adopt Me” are well worth reading and considering carefully (along with the rest of Viola’s interesting post).
This notion of “disagreeing agreeably” lies behind my post on inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue. Whether we are talking doctrine or politics we must learn to be polite to each other at all times!
Making friends with people you disagree with is all about actually LISTENING to what they are really saying rather than using stereotypes. I fear that in much of our political and theological discourse today we don’t do this.
Here is what Rick Warren had to say:
“The coarsening of our culture and the loss of civility in our civilization is one of the things that concerns me most about our nation. We don’t know how to disagree without being disagreeable. The fact is, you can — you can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye. And what we need in our country is unity, not uniformity. There are major differences, politically, religiously, economically in our nation. We have many different streams in our nation . . . What is solvable is how we treat each other with our differences . . . In fact, the Bible tells me in I Peter, show respect to everyone, even people I totally disagree with. So I’m coming from that viewpoint in that we must return civility to our civilization in order to get on. But the reason I do that is because of the deeper reason, there’s a spiritual root to my reason for civility.”