A new Christian in your small group suggests the group throw a baby shower for her lesbian neighbors. How do you respond? A good friend with terminal breast cancer reveals she’s contemplating ending life “on her own terms.” What would you say to her? Your sister casually mentions her husband sometimes looks at pornography, but then says, “It’s what men do. It’s not a big deal.” Do you voice any concerns to her?
Christianity is becoming increasingly counter-cultural in our society. Jesus warned us this would happen. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you (John 15:19). Many do hate us. The world often sees us as intolerant, hateful, and arrogant. How do we engage them on these difficult cultural issues?
Here are a few suggestions:
Listen to the other person’s views. They have no reason to listen to you if you’re making no attempt to understand their values and opinions.
Do not engage in or approve of name calling, bullying, or offensive joke-telling.
We are called to love. Love does not do these things.
Encourage the body.
Talk about these issues with other believers. You may not agree on all points, and that gives you an opportunity to share your views in a safe place first. Lift one another up.
The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts, rebukes, and saves. Pray for what you might say and for open hearts to hear your words. Pray also for leaders in authority over us, that they may follow after God. The Holy Spirit’s got the power—access it!
Educate yourself on current issues (All sides!) and study what the Bible says or doesn’t say about them. Remember, though, that it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” Go find the answer and get back to them.
Just Between Us (JBU) has many resources for you on a variety of current cultural issues. Start with one or two that you know may come up in conversations with people you see regularly. Engage with them and watch your faith (and maybe theirs) grow! When those unexpected moments come, you can rejoice knowing you are prepared.