Please Don’t Treat Me Like A Child

I hope I can say this gently and without malice or self-righteousness.

First of all, I am not a child. I have followed Jesus for nearly sixty years. I have devoted my life to the service of Christ and his kingdom. I have been both an ardent student and a teacher of theology and the biblical text. I have not been right about everything I have believed and taught—indeed, I’m sure I’m not right about everything I believe and teach now—and I have needed to make some changes in my thinking over the years.

You are welcome to disagree with me, but please don’t patronize me. Whatever I believe, you can be certain I have considered it carefully and from a wide range of perspectives. Please don’t lecture me as though I am an adolescent who is pushing the boundaries but will eventually grow up and make the right decisions. I may not be right, but I am certainly not ignorant of the options available and of the consequences of the choices I make.

And then, please remember that when you write words like “I’m so glad there are still true Christians standing firm for the Word of God,” and by that you mean, for example, those who share your view that the Supreme Court undermined the institution of marriage by its ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states, you impugn the character of all those Christians who do not view the ruling that way.

It is perfectly appropriate to express personal convictions and disappointment, but we should not imply that those who disagree with us are not true Christians. Speak what you believe to be the truth in love, and I will try my best to do the same.

The integrity of our corporate witness for the kingdom is at stake.

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