What makes a topic controversial?

By October 14, 2020Blog

Controversy is something that has driven, divided, and destroyed societies. It is and has been something that has formed gaps in families, friendships, businesses, churches, governments, countries, and at times the whole world. 

In our Words of Wisdom Wednesday video, we tackle a question that was asked multiple times by different folks. This question was what should a Christian do or not do for Halloween. 

As strange as it was I instantly found myself concerned about what people would say or think about whatever answer I both wrote and recorded. Now, many people may say that is silly to worry about, but truth be told in our world there is no lack of judgment and shame.   

Today in our WOW Video, I talk about the topic of Christianity and Halloween. I know at the core this should not be a difficult topic of discussion, however for a topic to be difficult it only needs 2 people and time lol. In fact, I have yet to run into a topic yet be it large or small that isn’t very difficult to work out so long as only 1 person is involved. 

We all have thoughts! We all have the ability to process, make decisions, and carry out those decisions. All the while accepting the consequences of a decision big and small, good or bad. Sometimes we weigh the options carefully, and other times we act impulsively. Today I challenge all of us to genuinely think about a controversial topic; one that we have already made up our minds on. I challenge us to carefully write out that position and defend it not only in opinion but in fact-finding those answers outside of opinions. Then with your topic and defense wrote (IT MUST BE WRITTEN!) close the journal or document, and set it aside. 

With that written, think of someone close to you that you know has a differing view than you on the topic that you wrote and defended. Call this person and ask them for coffee, dinner, or just a walk. Give them a heads up that you want to meet with them to simply hear their view on the subject you have written. When they ask why (or potentially fear an ambush, remember we live in a world full of judgment and shame) let them know about the blog and video’s weekly growth challenge. 

Meet with them and listen, do not offer your opinion. In this meeting do not, I repeat do not under any circumstances share your views or opinions, be they fact or otherwise. People need very few things in this world, but all need to be heard. This is about them not us. Truth be told we are someone’s them and someone else’s us. The statement is not meant to divide it is meant to bring awareness. 

Differences are wonderful. We need to learn again as a society that we can disagree, and we often will. But we can still be kind and listen. In therapy at Open Door, we establish early on that listening is not agreeing and agreeing is not listening.

Once the first meeting is over, tell the person to check out this blog and video, and if they want to hear your views about the subject you would be happy to share. When that time comes, I challenge you to share what you have written, even if you have changed your view, even so slightly. Remember that this is about education, not indoctrination, on either side, knowing that you don’t have to agree but you must listen. The same also applies to their side. In the meeting that they ask you to share your view, they cannot under any circumstances share their view. Yes, this applies even though they already shared their view. You need to be heard. After this, meet again to discuss. We will share more insights in the future about how to talk through the difficult and painful! 

Thank you for reading and I cannot wait to see and hear from you in the comments about your topics and discussions!