(This is Part 1 of a two part poll. Please also vote in Part 2 in the next post above)
Strange, this, but true. I suppose one should ascribe it to the exhausted misnomer, “human nature”, or more simply to the way we mostly think. With regularity, it is the more controversial subjects which attract the most attention on most blogs, forums and discussion groups in the social media. This tendency, a norm within secular circles, inevitably seems to apply to many Christian discussions, as well.
This is a Christian blog regarding fundamentals of the Christian faith, therefore, one would expect that the majority of the regular readers here would be from of the fundamental Christian camp. Even so, previous polls which I have placed on this blog regarding the more controversial issues are those which have, by far, received the most votes. Polls regarding the less controversial, and dare I say it, the more scholarly topics, generate less interest.
Are all the issues listed appropriate subjects for Christian discussion?
There is an argument which can be made as to whether some of these issues could be points of discussion among true Christians, or whether they are issues relevant only to professing or nominal Christians. Notwithstanding that possibility, they are issues and points of discussion which will and do cross the path of true evangelical Christians. They are issues which cannot simply be brushed aside for the sake of convenience, just as the existence of sin and its consequences cannot be ignored. The road which the true evangelical Christian must follow, is not traveled on only by other beloved true believers, but it is crisscrossed by high volumes of traffic of the unbelieving kind. Similarly, local church congregations do not solely constitute true believers, but are interspersed with an fluctuating number of false converts, nominal Christians and hard-hearted unbelievers. Many believers have family members, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, friends, uncles and associates who are lost sheep, who voice the strongest opinions on these matters and which should be given due attention by the believing Christian, by applying answers and instructions from the Word.
Unsurprisingly, the same brothers and sisters who hold the opinion that some of the issues included in these lists should not be points for discussion among true believers, are those who are willing to debate certain other contentious issues of the Christian faith, which according to them, are issues worthy of Christian debate. They are, however, prepared to do this with such loveless ferocity, and to the point that the words they swing as battle axes to bring terrible gaping wounds, heart-wrenching personal hurt and shattering division among true believers, are the only possible results! We, men of sinful nature, remain such fickle, insignificant and fallible beings, and so it will be until after the coming of our King.
The contents of the polls:
The two polls which follow, therefore, consist of issues which threaten the form of the Christian faith, which challenge Christians and should be addressed by true evangelicals. Scripture, applied correctly, does address all of these issues, the Word of God is complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17), but that does not negate the reality of their existence, or the persistence of the deceiver in using these issues as diversions from the Truth. True believers understand that none of these threats and issues can change the Truth or what constitutes the true universal church.
In constructing the two polls, I made use of a number of points from a list which I had casually been adding to over a period of a few weeks. I also requested additional contributions from commentators on, what seem to be Christian discussion threads, on “places” like Facebook, etc. By adding some of these I was able to make two lists, one containing issues of a more cultural nature and the other constituting those of a more theological character. Of course, these lists are neither extensive nor are they complete and some of the issues could have appeared on either, or both, of the lists.
A little off the subject:
I intentionally refer to internet based “places” and “threads, etc”, as being ‘seemingly’ Christian, the reason being that the virtual world hides most of what one can know about another contributor. Without the advantage of physical contact and real fellowship, all one has to go on, are a few typed characters and numbers which appear in sequence on a computer screen. Of course, one cannot expect the virtual world of social media to be representative of the true fellowship of believers, because it will simply remain exactly what it was meant to be, i.e. the virtual world; unreal.
The Body of Christ, the true universal church, cannot be united by the social media today, to any greater extent than it was before the advent of the internet, or than it will be after the demise of the internet. Nevertheless, the internet has provided an additional means through which believers can communicate and find a type of friendship, and I am thankful for that blessing, too. But, just like every other worldly thing, it has been “hijacked” and infiltrated by the evil one, and it is extremely difficult to discern between true believers and the truly unregenerate, on the internet. It is a ‘virtual’ impossibility, if you give it some real thought.
So, how will these new polls work?
For those readers to whom we are always so thankful for participating in our humble polls, as well as for all the new readers, what follows are two polls on the same subject, which will run simultaneously: “What do you think are the four most controversial cultural issues being discussed among Christians today?” and “What do you think are the four most controversial theological issues being discussed among Christians today?”.
After a few weeks I will take the ‘winning’ results from the two polls and combine them in a final poll asking: “What do you think are the four most controversial issues being discussed among Christians in general today?”
Considering that voters have indicated that controversial issues are what interest them most, I’m hopeful that the outcome of these polls will fascinate some and provide a little helpful information for others.
As it is impossible to comprehensively list all controversial issues among Christians on a poll of this nature, please add your own points to the list by way of your comments (below) on this post.