Photo by NYTimes
Bill Ellis writing for ASSIST News Service wrote an article that asks the question, “Should the Church and its Ministers be Controversial?” Now, I know that there are pastors and church leaders who are controversial for controversy sake. They experience great joy from inciting controversy and “ticking” people off. Then there are others who just hate interpersonal conflict; and since they want to be in constant harmony with everyone, they try really hard not to talk about controversial topics.
But the more I think about this, the more I am concluding that if we stand up for something (or anything) then there will inevitably be some controversy, no?
Ellis said, “No matter what you say or write, there is no controversy until someone does not agree with you. To that person, what you are saying or doing becomes controversial. You can often get some idea of whether you are right or wrong simply by who agrees and disagrees with you. When a person, by what he believes, speaks or writes, leads others to debate, argument, disputation and disagreement we quickly label him as being controversial. Do you know of any person who is not controversial to some degree?”
Can we ever find people who will agree with you 100%?
No! In that sense, we are all controversial.
I am reminded that anyone who did anything to make history were all controversial. Just think about it.
Ellis closes out his article by saying,
The Bible is full of revered and sainted characters who were as controversial as anybody is in the world today. Their names were Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Isaiah, Elijah, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, David, Solomon, Amos, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Stephen, James, Paul and the most controversial of all of them was Jesus. These men still stir up controversy, disagreement and debate wherever their message is presented.
When the church and its preachers declare God’s eternal truth all in the world who do not believe in truth will cry out, ‘You are too controversial.’ But that does not alter truth one iota. We are not the judge of truth. Truth will judge us.”
This gives me a lot of comfort the next time someone tells me that I am being too controversial.
You can read the article here.