Posts Tagged ‘Non-hostile Christian faith’

Just heard Brian McLaren present on a new way Christians might view and present themselves to the world. One important aspect is getting over the sense that one’s identity is only exercised through hostility toward the other. Instead of a strong/hostile orientation one works on a strong/benevolent one – in which one’s strong identity as a Christian leads to compassion for those of other faiths.

In today’s supercharged political/hostile environment the primary response to different opinion that we experience is hostility; why you are an evil fool to have an opinion that differs from mine. So how does one respond to the knee-jerk hostility in our culture? First, not by feeding or reacting to it. But second, and perhaps more importantly, by expressing simply and clearly that you do not agree. As he taught the crowd to say in unison: “Wow! I really see that differently.” Then walk away or say you can discuss it later.

So when someone blasts you and labels you as the devil’s henchman, don’t feed the hostility of the other. Neither reinforce nor overreact to it. A simple “Wow, I really see that differently” is sufficient. They can deal with their own hostility. And if they are curious they might ask why you do see it differently. Tell them without painting them as a monster.