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Leading Through the Culture Wars

This is a humble, quiet, brave, messy way. 

It happens over tables and difficult conversations, 

it happens when you pursue friendship instead of judgement,

it happens when you are honest about your own sin rather than point out someone else’s.

Recently, I was sitting backstage before speaking at a conference, when a man I recognized walked in. I knew his name and from his views online I knew him to be a gay Christian who was fully affirming in the church, and when we sat down to talk,

I leaned in. I embraced the tension.

I asked questions. I listened and I learned.

I learned more about the immeasurable hurt the church has caused in the lives of the gay community.

I learned how to love better.

Never once did he ask me to change my views on scripture and homosexuality. But he increased my compassion and love for those who actually are affected daily by those views. I count him a friend and I hope he counts me one as well. He comes to mind as I write today, and though I know he sees this issue differently than me, I think about him and how he would feel if he read these words.

And maybe that is the beginning of a way through this … a friend.

A real-life, eye-to-eye friend, who we think of when we approach these difficult issues with our words.

Just as I won’t lay down what I read so clearly as God’s design for marriage between a man and a woman in His Word, I also cannot lay down what I read so clearly as Jesus’ plan to build His church and save souls …

Christ said just before His death, By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Jn. 12:35

It is a time for us to engage—I suggest we do that in new bold ways, but let’s be sure we know people on the other side to help us be sensitive and humble as we go. I think we will naturally love better online if we are loving well offline in these spaces.

And friends—we need to know our Bibles more than we ever have—not depend on others to feed us the truth. We need to be in the Word ourselves.

Let’s take the energy we are wasting on fear over these issues and move it to a passion for people’s souls—we could see God move in our midst. Friends, “we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us” (2 Cor. 5:20). We are the current ambassadors for our God—we must figure this out.

And may no great issue of our day distract us from the greatest issue of souls and eternity.

We are here for a minute, and if we lay down love or truth, we lose the two greatest weapons we have to fight for the souls of men. We hold to truth and we love with relentless pursuit and we repent for our own sins and we pray for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is heaven.

There is work to do—let’s get on with it.

God, make us humble and bold.

Tell me what you think.