Thursday, February 03, 2011

Rules of Engagement

Rules of engagement when discussing important issues:

Don’t try to disguise opinions as fact.

Read enough to have a considered opinion.

Don’t parrot what you just heard on talk radio.

If you’re a person of faith root yourself in an understanding of the whole counsel of God. Don’t prooftext.

Understand that your reading of Scripture carries a cultural bias. Strive to understand that bias.

Understand history.

Please don’t try to pretend you’re objective.

Own your personal biases.

Please don’t generalize.

Seek first to understand.  Then to be understood.

Quit pretending you’re learned.  Adopt the posture of the learner.

Liberals are not the spawn of Satan.  Nor are conservatives.

Don’t try to reason with a crazy person.

Make sure you’re not crazy.

Admit when you’re wrong.

Look for points of agreement.

Apologize when you’ve overstepped your boundaries.

Compliment when appropriate.

Look for win/win agreements.

Don’t make it personal.

Be firm but kind. Stand strong but don't be a jerk about it.

Be willing to change your mind.

If you’re a law keeper practice grace.

If you think God doesn’t stand for anything look again.

All people matter to God.  All people.

When talking about cultural issues look to see what God might be saying or has already said.

Be a bridge builder.

Articulate your opinion in a way that makes people want to understand.

Walk away when things get too heated. Come back another time.

It’s always about ‘a long obedience in the same direction’.

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