8-5-2028 Remember to Dialog


August 5, 2018


I had just returned home the other day when the doorbell rang. It was a State Representative candidate for the 61st district introducing herself and asked if I had any questions for her. To be honest I despise politics in any form whether it’s government or church. I have little to no patience for bureaucracy or bureaucrats and the last thing I wanted to do is engage with one. Yet, for some reason, yet unknown to me, I was impressed to spend a few minutes with her.


Accepting her invitation to ask her questions I began with gun control and the 2nd amendment. She answered with, “Well, I support common sense controls”. Standard political wording that can mean anything to anyone. I didn’t allow her to get away with it. I’ve expressed to others, as I shared with her, that whether I agree with the specific position of an individual person or not, anytime I see politicians opening pandora’s box of any constitutional amendment under the guise of ‘common sense’ it makes me nervous. In fact, she admitted that getting guns out of criminal’s hands would never happen. We debated back and forth for another 10 minutes before I asked a second question.


An out of state group is proposing a ballet initiative $12 per hour minimum wage plus 1 hour of vacation time for every 30 hours worked … where do you stand? Again, the answer she gave me was not only not in the same ball park as the question… it wasn’t even in the same league (i.e., ask a baseball question and get a hockey answer). Again, I called her out on it and shared the impact on small businesses such as ours and especially the families we serve. She disagreed. Another 15 minutes of debate pursued.


All the while, while we didn’t agree on the issues (I think she knew by that time she had no chance of ever receiving my vote), but we always spoke respectfully, kindly and cordially to one another. I feel this was important because God’s Word assures us…


Proverbs 15:1-2 (NASB)
1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly.


There are too many people ‘hating’ on each other today. Too many people ready for a fight… to ‘tell it like it is” regardless of the consequences. There are just too many people refusing to engage in honest dialog.


Understand, dialog doesn’t mean your position is wrong or requires defending. Dialog is a form of persuasion, different than adversarial debate. Dialog engages in listening as well as sharing. To be affective at dialog there needs to be a recognition among Christians that as long as there is good and evil there will be those who think ideas and live different lives than God’s Word requires. Given that, yes, it’s our responsibility to stand firm, but also, a responsibility to share the truth with tongues that reflect Christ love, righteousness and holiness.


We’re not always going to agree with each other… in fact there will often not be a square foot of common ground to be found. Regardless, still remember… where there is not… we are still called to make our ways pleasing to the Lord. Because when that happens… God will use that dialog to His honor and His glory will shine bright.


Proverbs 16:7 (NASB)
7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.


Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry