ADDoration Ministries
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

ADD'ers ought not debate controversial topics

ADD PERSONS OUGHT TO SHUN DISCUSSING CONTROVERSIAL RED FLAG TOPICS. 
(Also persons of other disorders ought to shun those topics.)

Simply speaking, whatever you say on red flag topics inflames other people who disagree. I am against division among the Body of Christ, but red flag topics especially divide Christians. Division is obvious when one side says that you cannot be both a Christian and have the opposite view on the topic. To say, "You cannot be both a Christian and disagree with me," -- that's intolerance.


Here is a quotation from John Wesley, whose followers started the Methodist denomination. The quotation:
"Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike. May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion."

John Wesley had his speaking style, but I paraphrase the quotation as, "Although we don't think alike, let's love alike, and let's be of one heart."

Over the decades, it has varied, as for what are the red flag topics. In recent decades, the foremost two red flag topics are abortion and homosexuality. As of when I wrote this, two more red flag topics are The Iraqi War and Illegal Aliens. During 1998 and 1999, whether to impeach Bill Clinton was a red flag topic. During the 1960's, it was involvement in The Vietnam War. Before the death of Martin Luther King Jr. racial segregation was a red flag topic. Before the Civil War, slavery was the foremost red flag topic. The Civil War itself was a red flag topic, because the sentiment of many people was, "Just let the south exist as a separate confederate nation." Then afterwards many people wanted to punish the south, in contrast to Lincoln's words, "With malice toward none."

In fact, during the mid-nineteenth century, the issue of slavery caused denominations to divide, including Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and perhaps others.

During 2005, Supreme Court justice selection seemed to be impossible, because United States is so divided over abortion issue. During Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominees, there is much focus over whether he/she would overturn Roe Versus Wade.

Today, the issues of ordination of gay clergy and gay marriage-like commitment ceremonies threaten to cause mainline denominations to split. During the year 2000, several denominations had national governing conventions that grappled with homosexuality. At those year 2000 conventions, there were many middle-of-the-road delegates who voted "thumbs down" mainly to prevent a split in the denomination. If I were a delegate, I probably would have voted "thumbs down" as a vote against the denomination dividing. During 2003, the Episcopalian national governing conference risked causing a split, when they approved the appointment of an openly gay bishop. However in a compromise the Episcopalians decided to hold off on developing any liturgy for same sex commitment ceremonies. During 2004, the United Methodist general conference affirmed the status quo (against gay clergy and against gay marriage); however the United Methodists overwhelmingly voted to remain together as "One In Christ." The aquittal of the United Methodist lesbian pastor, that didn't resolve the issue -- far from it. In Philadelphia a United Methodist lesbian assistant pastor was defrocked, but she remained on the church staff as a lay minister. The 2012 United Methodist general conference reaffirmed the status quo.  July 4, 2005, the UCC (United Church of Christ) General Synod approved "full marriage equality;" however it is far from unanimous. There is speculation whether some UCC churches might leave the denomination. However the UCC web site experienced a surge in "find-a-church" requests (persons looking for a church that welcomes all persons).

The Massachusetts Supreme Court decision has heated up the same sex marriage issue. Perhaps justice miscarried. This has caused a political movement (both Federal and within states) toward a possible constitutional amendment to define marriage as between man and woman. Some same sex couples are traveling to Massachusetts to get married, and then they will expect their home state to recognize the marriage -- the home state might NOT recognize it.

I do indeed sympathize with any deep feelings you might have against the millions of abortions and against the homosexual promiscuous life style of many lovers. On both, I have compromise views that are personal with me. I have found that other people are closed to the idea of any compromises. To some persons, any kind of compromise means that abortions or homosexuality are OK. To me, that's not necessarily true. The Lord speaks differently with those other people, and that is fine with them. But I have ADD and have my reasons to shun discussions.

We agree on this -- promiscuity is promiscuity, regardless of whether homosexual or heterosexual.

A common view is that homosexuals are just as much entitled to God's grace; however they cannot continue the behavior after conversion. It is judgmental and intolerant to insist that they must change upon conversion. It is as judgmental as the view that homosexuals are excluded from God's grace.

Experts on the topic say that you might get a homosexual to behave like a heterosexual, but you will not change his/her sexual orientation.

Whether an openly gay person should have a leadership position in the church -- that is very controversial, to a higher degree. That is biblical role model versus equal employment opportunity.

Invariably scripture, God's word, is used to justify people's vehement views on the topics. Before the Civil War, scripture was often quoted by both sides on slavery issue. After the Civil War, racial segregationists time and again quoted scripture. Today, pro-lifers quote "Thou shalt not kill," along with that God loved Jeremiah since when in his mother's womb. Today, people often quote Leviticus that homosexuality is an abomination; however those people ignore other parts of Leviticus about sacrificing animals. Also often argued is that the Bible speaks of Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Especially Romans 1:24-27 strongly condemns homosexuality.

Beware of quoting scripture to promote a political agenda. You always can find a scripture to prove anything.

Would you believe -- the Bible has rebuttals too. In summary, the rebuttals are about Grace. Time and again, the Bible tells you that God loves you, just as you are. Granted, God dislikes the sin; however God still loves the person. Remember that Jesus associated with sinners, such as tax collectors and harlots. Today, homosexuals have the same status that tax collectors had during Jesus' earthly ministry.

There also are scriptures against controversies, that divide. Titus 3:9 says, "But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless." Verses 10 and 11 of Titus 3 bite harder -- "After a first and second admonition, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions, since you know that such a person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned." This was Paul writing to Titus, who was a young preacher. Perhaps Preacher Titus had a problem of stirring up controversy. Paul wrote to advise, "Knock it off." Verse 10 was Paul's counsel that Titus was negatively influenced by people who cause division.  Timothy (another young preacher) also was rebuked by Paul on this issue. 1Timothy 6:3-5 "Whoever teaches otherwise ____________________ is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain." As a digressing by the way, that is five verses before "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

I don't advocate ostracize persons who are outspoken on the topics. Nevertheless, you don't need to associate with persons who cause divisions.

WHY ESPECIALLY ADD PERSONS -- AND PERSONS WITH OTHER DISORDERS -- OUGHT TO SHUN DISCUSSING RED FLAG TOPICS:

The most important reason is that red flag topics erase any concept that God is love. I have found that you cannot both love and express a view on a red flag topic. When you take a position, intolerance replaces love. Some people actually believe that the Lord requires intolerance (I disagree with that). In addition, the sin of self-righteousness often creeps in when grappling with red flag topics.

But even more important, bear in mind that stimulation seeking is typical of ADD persons, and also persons of other disorders. For the ADD'er, it is very vitalizing to argue about red flag topics; however it disturbs inner peace, along with mental balance. Recovery International, a self-help organization for nervous patients, teaches that mental health comes first. If mental health comes first, then it is dubious to discuss red flag topics.

Although I understand that you have views on these red flag topics -- and I respect your view -- it is best for disordered persons to shun discussing topics of this type.

Leave it to other persons to do the advocacy on these topics.

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries