I've got a lump in my throat cause you're gonna sing the words wrong

I’ve been thinking a lot about church lately.  And by that I mean more than usual – I am a pastor after all.  It crosses my mind a lot.
But lately it seems that all of my conversations with friends, colleagues, members of the congregation all seem to wander to what the church is doing about this issue or that issue.  Yes it circles around one main issue that is getting a lot of limelight lately in our denomination but we are also talking about other things.
Or more so we are talking about why we aren’t talking about these things.  Why we are remaining silent on race, sexuality, drug/alcohol abuse, main stream media/culture, war, poverty, the middle east … and the list could go on and on.
The thing is though we don’t want to start the conversation because we don’t want to cause rifts in our communities.  We are afraid because our views are deeply personal and if we find out that someone else’s view is differing from us then that will cause a break in our relationship.
Or… Even worse, we aren’t really interested in what the other person has to say at all.  We just want our opinions to be heard and validated.  We unintentionally bully the opposing side because of a preconceived notion of what it means to hold that other view point.
We’ve set ourselves up into camps. We all think there is a right or wrong opinion.  A black or white answer that works for everyone in every situation within this topic.  But it’s so not true.  Everyone has a story behind what they think and why they think it.  We have to be respectful of each other and each others stories.
The way that the Kingdom wins in these types of conversations is when we look for Christ in one another.  When we listen to each others’ stories and try to understand the other person better.  When our only agenda is to understand the person sitting across from us, rather than try to make them think what we think.
They aren’t singing the words wrong.  They are just singing them differently.  Our job is to try and see what God is doing in the midst of both of our songs.

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