Every statement is controversial—to someone. The lightly controversial statements and comments of our cosy group might be highly contentious in an atheist or gay blog.
I often think I should venture into the big, bad, blog world and hammer a stake into foreign territory. But two things stop me. First, intimidation, I’m not sure I can handle the emotional toll it may bring. Second, issues of family, health, ministry, and writing—yes I actually write!—take my time and resources.
I read the blogs this month and as usual, found them thoughtful and stimulating, although I’ve not added my comments. Hey, if I can’t find time to respond to you dear folk, where’s the time for greater controversy out there?
A year or two ago, I did have a protracted electronic discussion with a young atheist. The dialogue was mostly on a rational level, with little emotional baggage, so I quite enjoyed it. But again, it fell by the wayside due to necessary commitments.
But there’s a further consideration to controversial writing. It’s not just what we say, it’s the way we say it. Two texts come to mind: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15.
The last phrase captivates me. Who better than a Christian to speak with humility and grace? Easy among a sympathetic crowd, but can we handle anger and abuse? Remember, we may intimidate the opposition by our stand—it’s a two-way street.
In fact, where the Holy Spirit is active in an unbeliever, the Spirit engenders guilt: “He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment,” John 16:8. That often provokes an angry response. Any mention of God suggests eventual accountability.
So maybe we need to reverse the question: Will anything we write find unanimous consent? Does that answer our original question?