Here is where I'd ask for those who come to my site to offer some feed back in the comment section at the end of the blog.
Here is the tension: As a leader (pastor, Bible teacher, or Christian who declares God's word to those around them), how do we balance the presentation of Biblical truth and the desire to be relational with those who we are called to minister to?
This is the tension that I wrestle with on a constant basis. I'm going to present both sides of the tension and then ask for some feed back through the comment section of the blog.
Tension 1. We are called to teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). The core of the Gospel which is the cross of Christ is inherently offensive (Galatians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 1:23; Luke 2:34).
Throughout the Epistles of Paul he was constantly warning the Churches against false teachers, false prophets, the Judaizers, vain pagan philosophies, etc, the Apostle Paul even named names cf., and “Some have rejected these [faith and good conscience] and so have shipwrecked their faith among them are Hymanaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:19b-20).
Tension 2. In trying so hard to be relational with those around us, can we go "easy on the truth," so as not to offend? How would you balance being relational and maintaining the integrity of the "whole counsel of God (which at times contains some unpopular stuff)?
I've been visiting many Churches in my area as we are looking for a home church---I'm finding most if not all the Churches leaning towards the relational side of the tension. It seems that this is manifested in topical messages (messages that are tailored to be relational and non offensive); thus, leaving me extremely hungry for expository preaching (where the text is taught in its cultural and historical context, and weight is given to the 5 Ws of Biblical interpretation).
However, I've found these churches to be warm and inviting, and these fellowships seem truly intentional about being caring and loving.
While on the other side of the tension; the more fundamental Churches that I've visited seem to be less relational and more ingrown.
So, I need your thoughts about the best way to bring this tension together, if it can be brought together. If you could share some examples, maybe from your fellowship that has worked through this tension or just share some of your own thoughts and ideas.