In a time of intense division about a wide variety of political and theological issues in American evangelicalism, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. discusses how pastors and church leaders can address cultural issues in constructive ways that build up the Church without creating unnecessary division.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
When you think about so many of these issues and in a time in which we really have an unprecedented political polarization in the modern United States. We have to remember there’ve been other moments in American history in which there’s been extreme polarization, even a Civil War. But in modern America, we really are at a new point.
We’re seeing this affect the dinner table, when families gather together at Thanksgiving and at Christmas. We’re seeing this affect local congregations.
And the question is then: how do we discuss these issues? Which, after all, Christians have to think about and we have to decide about. Eventually, in many cases, we have to vote about.
How do we make clear where there is an essential ground on which Christians must stand united in truth and in the gospel and where there are issues in which biblically-minded, gospel-hearted Christians can be in a constructive disagreement?
This actually calls for something Christians think they’re good at, but often are not, which is conversation. Christians, we really think we’re a conversational people, but in reality we tend to have conversations that avoid the things we really need to be invested in with each other. We need to trust one another enough in the gospel, in the Scripture, in the Lordship of Jesus Christ exercised in the Church, to have conversations that just might risk the fact that we might discover we actually aren’t – beginning at least – in absolute agreement.
The goal of such a conversation should never be to begin in absolute agreement. And frankly you might not end in absolute agreement, but you will – if this is done right – end in absolute trust together in Christ. And that’s really precious. That’s what we need to aim for.