The title of this article is my take away from some recent comments made to our executive director during a public event at the FāVS Center in Spokane. An individual, with stated links to the Christian faith, shared with her that they just couldn’t understand why we would report on non-Christian religions, allow non-Christian commentary, or why an Evangelical Christian would write for the publication. Well, maybe it has something to do with our mission to provide non-sectarian coverage of religion, spirituality and ethics in the Inland Northwest.
As an Evangelical Christian, I’m rooted in a very different spiritual soil than many of my co-writers at FāVS. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to tell we’re even planted in the same dirt. Doesn’t that bother me? Usually not, and being together helps us fulfill another aspect of the group’s goal: promoting dialogue, through online journalism and community engagement opportunities. And writing for this group has other potential benefits.
Christians, in many people’s opinions, are not lovers of their fellow man. If you doubt that, just search, the problem with Christians, what I hate about Christians, or ways Christians display hate, and you’ll find plenty of examples that don’t sound like what we tell people we are. So every time I pen an article or interact with other writers or staff members, I’m getting an opportunity to be a positive example of Christianity to them.
Do I hedge away from sensitive issues because, as a Christian I need to be perceived as a nice guy and accepting of others? Probably sometimes, but just recently I penned an article on abortion and in it, wrote that “…I disagree with laws that allow someone to terminate the growth of an unborn child…”
Did I take a strong stance on a sensitive subject? Sure did, but I’ve learned it’s not always the stand we take on an issue but how we articulate our belief that builds bridges or puts up barriers. I strongly believe that human communication, in a way that fosters open dialogue, is often accomplished by our tone of voice, word selection, or many other ways. This comes from my years of work teaching Christians how to lovingly share their spiritual beliefs. The things I’ve learned over the years, though very germane to evangelism, are also skills and philosophies that can benefit all forms of one-to-one interaction.
I wish I’d been able to speak with the individual that communicated with Tracy Simmons. I would have liked hearing more about why the statements were being made. I can appreciate that some Christians wouldn’t like what we’re doing but understanding where this individual was coming from could have been very enlightening.
For me, I consider my efforts as a writer for FāVS an opportunity to make a positive impact in my world. Since my first article appeared in August of last year, I’ve penned 20 pieces that have been viewed just over 11,000 times and shared on Social Media 154. Since I believe God works through our lives on earth, I wonder, while pondering my next article, just how He might use my efforts here.
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