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Dangerous Faith

We learn very early in life to recognize a “Danger” sign. It’s usually red and has some figure in a high-risk situation. Sometimes we see “skull and bones” to scare us from trying to do something stupid. We learn to stay far away from such dangerous situations.

The church today as in its history faces controversial issues that have become dangerous to discuss. They are often divisive and polarizing causing people to take opposing sides often ending up in dividing the Body of Christ. We have learned to see these “Danger” signs to avoid being hurt. In time, these issues seem to take on more significance than they really deserve and we as people of faith are left stunted without the vocabulary and reasoning to engage in constructive and productive conversations.

At the ABC of the Rocky Mountains’ Annual Gathering in September 2015, Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran and regional leadership led participants to engage in “Dangerous Conversations.” They decided that unless regional leaders take the lead to bring up discussions on racism, police brutality, homosexuality and other controversial topics, there’s a good chance that local churches won’t address these issues as well. Furthermore, until local churches in their respective communities become “mediating communities” that bring healing and understanding in a fractured culture, we would not be Christ’s servants in the making of a beloved community.

There were a Black pastor and a White pastor who mutually committed to spend time together for the purpose of breaking down stereotypes and uncovering personal prejudices toward becoming brothers in Christ. These congregations will undoubtedly learn from their pastors’ transformation. The big topic in our time, homosexuality was introduced with a respectful climate for personal study, biblical understanding as well as a call for human compassion. It is okay and Baptist to disagree but not okay to avoid dangerous issues when we are brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Read Related Sermon  ABC President Report June 12, 2014

My experience as ABC President at this year’s ABC of the Rocky Mountains’ Annual Gathering gave me a strong example of a healthy region, growing in faith and holding one another’s hands as they with deep humility engaged in “Dangerous Conversations” believing that the heart of Christ will lead them in becoming the beloved community as the Body of Christ.

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