ON SOCIAL DEBATE


It’s been often said that it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Our world is plagued with enumerable options for tearing down one’s neighbors and, sadly, it seems some of the worst of it happens within the church.

Here in the early part of the 21st Century there rages a furious American debate over social issues such as same sex marriage, abortion and stem cell research. While it’s commonly held by Christians that we all are far from perfect, it seems odd to me that those who exist inside the good graces of the church find such painful and exclusionary things to say for those who don’t. “All have fallen short” seems quite an inclusive biblical concept.

Perhaps it is time to consider Jesus’ call to oneness more seriously. John 17 says that one of Jesus’ final prayers was an ardent plea that “they may be one as we are one.” To Jesus, perhaps, it seems far more important for his disciples to be “one” than to be “right.”

This call to unity does not require a dismissal of the concept of sin. It requires an acknowledgement that we are all in the same boat when it comes to sin – the pastor and the prostitute alike. We are all imperfect and as such, we are in no position to speak harshly about each other’s imperfections.

Let us concern ourselves, as the Body, with spreading love and grace to everyone we come in contact with. Let us make it the mission of our lives to find common ground with our fellow strugglers and when the world recognizes the Church as the most loving entity on earth, then maybe we’ll know how to engage in this debate.

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.


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