Convictional Kindness

…convictional kindness, though, is not merely a change in tone, and it does not mean a lessening of controversy, but a heightening of it. Sometimes church leaders will ask me to tell them how they can engage on controversial issues, usually related to the Sexual Revolution, without appearing mean or evil. I always respond that I can’t do that. If they stand for biblical principles, and if they call people to repentance, they will indeed seem to be mean, and bigoted, and evil. Jesus told us to expect this … (Matthew 10:24–25). The issue is whether we actually are mean or evil. That’s what we can control.

Onward p. 196

Convictional kindness. Can we adopt such an attitude where we treat everyone as an image bearer? Will we disavow all belittling, all dishonor? Will we engage with our enemies in love even if they do not return the favor?—and they won’t. A biblical stance, in the eyes of the world, is a bigoted, evil stance. We cannot escape that. We can escape, as Moore says, the vicious cycle of name-calling, hateful, combative speech. We must submit to the Spirit’s desire to bear the fruit of peace and kindness and love and self-control in our lives. If we only behave as the world behaves, we are communicating that we have nothing better to offer them than what they already have. And that is an offense to the gospel of grace and to our Savior who suffered and died that we might be forgiven and accepted into the family of God. 

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