As a pastor, I get asked my opinion on just about everything. I'm never quite sure how to respond to things like "Preacher, what would Jesus think about these gas prices?" or "How should Christians respond to vegans?" but I do my best. Mainly, though, people want to know where I stand -- and where God stands -- on the hot-button issues of our day.
In case you're wondering, too, here's my response:
I'll tell you when I see you.
The Internet is not the most conducive place for well-reasoned discussions. It's so very easy to be misunderstood. All it takes is one word to be skipped while reading or the tone of the post to be misinterpreted, and all is lost. Friendships can be destroyed, relationships ended. The more contentious the topic under discussion, the easier it is for all of this to happen, too. It's just not a good idea to argue about abortion or immigration policy or similar things on Facebook, for example.
Don't think, however, I'm telling us all to remain silent on the hot debates. We as Christians are called to speak the truth in love about all things, never obscuring those truths or trying to change them. Our voices need to be heard as we share the gospel -- a gospel requiring us to condemn sin and seek repentance and holiness. But again, we have to do this in love. If our words don't lovingly point to truth (and the God who stands behind all truth), our words are useless as well as potentially damaging (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). It seems easier to speak those truths in person.
So if you ever ask for my humble opinion on something potentially inflammatory, be prepared to go out to lunch (I'll even buy). Come, let us reason together, but in love, face-to-face, not just over the Internet.