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What makes a topic controversial?

By October 14, 2020November 19th, 2020Blog

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

In this weeks video, we tackle a question that was asked multiple times by folks. The 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 gave. Whether in this blog or in our video. Now, many people may say that is silly to worry about, but 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 that 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. In fact, I have yet to run into a topic, be it large or small, that isn’t very difficult to work out. So long as there is only 1 person 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, whether 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 mind on. I challenge us to carefully write out that position and defend it. Defend it not only using our own opinion but also fact-finding answers outside of our opinion. When you have written your defense, and it must be written, 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. They may ask why, and may potentially fear an ambush. Remember we live in a world full of judgment and shame. Reassure them you just want to have a conversation. And let them know about the growth challenge in our blog and video. 

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. That is not meant to divide but 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. Let them know that 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! I cannot wait to see and hear from you in the comments about your topics and discussions!