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Old 05-18-2007, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Plano, Texas
8,640 posts, read 14,794,127 times
Reputation: 21135

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The book of Ecclesiastes states that to everything there is a season and one of the phrases is...a time to speak and time to remain silent. As a Christian in a (seemingly increasingly) secular society, I find myself contemplating this issue a lot late-especially since discovering the wonderful world of City-Data forum! Last night as some of you are probably aware, things got a little heated, shall we say, over in the P&C forums and 2 threads were closed. I'm not proud to admit that I contributed to that fray.

Recently, I was reading some statements made by my "favorite apologist," Dr. Greg Boyd. (If he were a liberal theologian who didn't believe the Bible, I would not give his thinking a lot of credence in this area, but he's not. He's a born-again evangelical.) Anyway, Dr. Boyd has even polarized his own church by adopting the somewhat radical stance (at least radical in the world of conservative Christianity) that the Christian Church has erred by saying too much about homosexuality( which he DOES consider sinful) and other hot-button issues so to speak. He thinks also that Christians have wrongly integrated and equated "right wing politics" with Christianity. In essence, he thinks this has been perceived by the world at large, the world we are trying to reach with the love of Christ as judgment, not love. He emphasizes that the gospel is a message that overcomes evil with good, with love, not the "force of law." Anyhow, I don't care to debate the relative merits of Dr. Boyd's positions here. I just interject that to try explain the kind of things I'm pondering in my own mind.

I would just like some input from you fellow Christians. As a Christian, should we forcefully speak our minds on the "hot button" issues of our day-i.e.-gay rights, abortion issues, etc. (or should we just preach "Christ and Him crucified") Is this being "salt and light" as Jesus spoke about or doing more harm than good? I think I know what the unbelievers think here. ....with the exception maybe of some of our "resident atheist friends" who seem to genuinely enjoy a little joust with us Christians.

Anyway, I'm not happyabout what happened on the P&C forum last night.
For my part, in that kind of debate...unless I feel specifically led of the Lord otherwise, I'm "out" with it. But I'd just like some thoughts from fellow believers on your opinion of "when to speak...and when to remain silent."

Last edited by kaykay; 05-18-2007 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:20 AM
 
2,952 posts, read 231,370 times
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I hear what you are saying but if Christians don't speak out and the moral decline of the country is accelerated how would you feel then? And not to bring up another "hot button" topic but Dr. Falwell's now disbanded "Moral Majority" had quite an effect on politics and how politicians viewed the previously "silent majority" of Christians. . .
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:23 AM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
1,372 posts, read 3,721,635 times
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nice topic Kaykay

I TRY not to get to deeply involved
If I can show something in scripture
or in another book
I may add in
I am not pro or anti
gay... atheism... or any other hot topic for that matter

It is not in my nature to be prejudice I have my own faults and would not want to be the one to "cast the first stone"

I don't know if I have answered your question but those are my thoughts on what I thought you were looking for
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Plano, Texas
8,640 posts, read 14,794,127 times
Reputation: 21135
Quote:
Originally Posted by spunky1 View Post
I hear what you are saying but if Christians don't speak out and the moral decline of the country is accelerated how would you feel then? And not to bring up another "hot button" topic but Dr. Falwell's now disbanded "Moral Majority" had quite an effect on politics and how politicians viewed the previously "silent majority" of Christians. . .
Yeah, I hear you, Spunky. Absolutely. That's what I mean about being "salt and light." And Jesus was NOT some namby-pamby weakling. He confronted sin, even the woman taken in adultery, He was being very loving but He directed her to "go and sin no more."

Yet still after things like last night's vitriolic (is that a word??) interchange, I can't help but feel that maybe we are alienating those that we
are trying to reach???
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:37 AM
 
7,768 posts, read 9,716,589 times
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Default Wow Kaykay, Wow

Kaykay, this has got to be one of the most relevant threads anyone has started in a long time.

And the answer is probably a no-answer.

I totally agree and have said before that currently Christians are known more for what we are against than what we are for.

I read somewhere that in a recent survey, when the general public was polled on what they think Christianity stands for the answers were: pro-life, no gay marriage, etc. Almost no one mentioned Jesus.

For me, the answer is somewhere in between. We reflect Christ but I don't think we can just lay down our involvement with the world.

I said somewhere else that Christianity really isn't a religion, it's a way of life. Everything I do and say runs through the filter of Christ in my life. Sometimes I yeild to the 'right' thing, and sometimes I don't, but it's a way of life...a way of thinking...as the Bible says we 'take every thought captive and make it bediant to Christ.'

As such, we get told that someone's lifestyle isn't our business with that person not realizing that our beliefs are our lifestyle.

So if you can talk to my kids in public school about your lifestyle, I should be able to talk to them about mine.

If you can make an argument for your lifestyle to considered norm, I can make an argument for my lifestyle to considered the norm.

I know those are extreme ways of looking at something, but I'm so tired of this chasm this country is faced with.

In '04 gay mariage went before many states...all voted against it.
On another thread in these forums, Aamerica was criticized for having 60% of the population reject evolution.
PHM siad somewhere that like 85% of respondents of a poll said they believe in God.

Here's the thing, most of America believes in God....maybe not Christianity, but God none the less.

As much as some would like to admit, most of your friends and neighbors believe there's a God.

Anyway, I guess I wandered OT.

Bottom line is we should be known for Jesus first.

We should honor God.

We should love our neighbors.

But we shouldn't do anything at the compromise of what we know spiritually to be morally wrong.

It's a delicate topic. I'm glad you brought it up.

Last edited by Alpha8207; 05-18-2007 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:38 AM
 
7,768 posts, read 9,716,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
maybe we are alienating those that we
are trying to reach???
And that's definitely a reason to 'back up and punt'.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Comunistafornia, and working to get out ASAP!
1,958 posts, read 3,482,383 times
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Christian "Activism"???...or not?

Hum? Activism is defined by Mr. Webster as, "a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue."

It seems that this phrase can be misapplied. Would you support Westboro Baptist's type of "activism"? I doubt it. But should we as Christians declare the gospel? Yes. Should we as Christian speak to the issues of our country or just leave it alone? I say no way!

It is entrusted to us to insure the propagation and expansion of the Christian faith--to us, then our children, and then to whom ever may hear. The question is, will we be allowed to bring our opinions and worldview to the public arena? No doubt there is a movement today to silence the Christian point of view. We need to stand up and speak just as all the other groups are doing.

For if we don't it will be as Daniel Webster said, "The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scripture ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evil men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Plano, Texas
8,640 posts, read 14,794,127 times
Reputation: 21135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
And that's definitely a reason to 'back up and punt'.
Some good points, as usual, Alpha. I think this is what I'm doing---backing up and punting....(unless the "Coach" tells me to do otherwise.)
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,917 posts, read 11,695,570 times
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A Christian or anyone for that matter does has the right of freedom of speech and freedom to organize with like minded individuals. The problem I have with Christian activism at least in America is that the more conservative fundamentalist groups seem to be promoting alot of things that I'm totally opposed to so I feel I need to voice my opinion as well. I don't think very highly of the people who hang around doctor's offices where abortions are performed and shout alot of abusive things and sometimes they even parade around in front of the doctor's home. We've seen murders of doctors by some of the more extreme members of these groups. I'm also opposed to the constant attacks on our constitutions arrangement that separates church and state. There are a great many Christians who would really like to have our nation based on Biblical principles. I also don't get the extreme hostility towards gays and lesbians in our society. The far right religious organizations are very active in this area. I really don't think there really are that many gay people anyway and I can't imagine why someone would feel threatened by them. I could go on and on with more topics but I think I've made my point. I think all of these activities make certain religious activists look very bad. Of course that's just my opinion and by the way I think almost all of the Christians who post on this forum seem very reasonable so my comments are not directed to any of you.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:59 AM
 
2,952 posts, read 231,370 times
Reputation: 658
Ah yes, thought we had the answer until Marks gives us this well thought out post to ponder.
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