Abortion. The ALCU. Alternative Energy. Animal Testing. Sexual Orientation at birth. Safety of cell phones. Should churches be taxed. Global climate change. Concealed handguns. Death Penalty. Drinking Age. Euthanasia. Gay Marriage. Gun Control. Illegal Immigration. Insider Trading in Congress. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Obamacare. “Under God” in the Pledge. Vaccines for Kids. Voting Machines.
These are but a few of the 50+ debate topics listed at ProCon.org. The site also lists a respective core question to get the controversial blood letting started. Add to these: Artificial Intelligence, Biofuels, Censorship, Drug legalization, Extremism, Fracking, Genetic Engineering, Hacking, Offshore Drilling, Privacy, Stem Cells, and Women’s Rights. All these come from the 50+ list of controversial issues from the Thompson Library in Flint Michigan. It’s exactly these kinds of controversies, that result in our inability to live together in peace.
Put 25 people in a room, and I mean ANY 25 people, hand out talking points on any one of the issues listed above, read the first core question, then just step back and watch. Depending on the general mix of people in the room, you can expect anything from an animated discussion with tinges of anger, to full out battle lines to be solved only with violence and death. These are not simple issues, they are fodder fueling the divisions that destroy friendships, families, and nations. Why then do we insist that our world is becoming a better place?
Add one more ingredient to any one of these topics, and “stirring the pot” doesn’t even come close to describing the vitriol of people’s reactions. Just one ingredient: the Bible. I’m not talking even about organized religion, systematic theology, or denominational bents. Just say, “find something in the Bible that speaks to one of these topics,” and the discussion goes thermo-nuclear in a nanosecond. Having a biblical perspective in a hostile non-spiritual world is much like the dialogue between Charlie Brown and Lucy below:
This old world, and our nation specifically, may indeed last another 1,000 years, maybe longer. However, issues like these won’t go away. We can’t wish them away. We can’t realistically expect to solve each of them in any longterm fashion without dealing with the root cause of many if not all of them. Sin is the issue which causes men to think of themselves more highly than they should. This egocentric error results in actions and attitudes which speak clearly of their lost condition. Having no sense of a need for forgiveness, or the need of a Savior, humans will go farther and farther down the road to depravity and lostness.
So here I am, stirring the pot. I’m a long time pot-stirrer. Sometimes I feel much like Charlie Brown in this comic. I’ve written my thoughts about how this world will finally see peace, comfort, and safety. It’s about 540 pages long, and takes awhile to read. That’s because it is a Bible Study, not a best-selling novel. It’s about hope, love, grace, forgiveness, redemption and salvation. It seems sometimes like no one cares about these things anymore. It’s easier just to be Lucy, “Well, who cares what you think?!”