I love new, creative ideas. Apparently so does society. But I'm beginning to believe society's love of new ideas comes at the cost of established ideals.
A new idea or a person's new identity is praised for being a bold voice. It does take courage to pioneer a movement. However, in a rapidly changing society it also takes courage to be a bold voice on one's traditional values of God, His Love, His Son and His desire that we come to Him and follow Him.
A respect for people's opinion is not the same as accepting one's opinion as truth. As the percentage of Christians gives way to the rising number of "nones" sharing ideas and opinions in an open and loving way is critical. I hope good, intellectual, deep and spiritual conversations happen around opinions and truth where both sides respect the other person.
What I'm beginning to see is the full acceptance of sharing the new normal ideas and harshness toward someone sharing his/her traditional, old normal ideas. Now, I'm quick to admit that we Baptists haven't been gracious in several issues in the past, but just like everyone else, I don't want to be judged based solely on a label or even on past issues (grace enters here).
My encouragement to all of us, regardless of label, is to continue discussing aspects that stretch one another and challenge one another in order that we all may grow and strengthen. My simple request is that we do so in a loving, caring, civil way that respects all individuals who are at the table and allow the freedom of speech to the old normal as well as the new normal ideas.