Confronting the Fear of Controversy

God values some things more than church unity, things like obedience, truth, and integrity.
— Richard Exley

I clearly remember the first time my church leaders discussed our church's stance regarding pro-life involvement. A small group within our congregation had presented a proposal to the board requesting permission to begin a crisis pregnancy program.

Our discussion was intense. "I will vote in favor of the proposal," said one board member, "only if we include strict guidelines prohibiting any form of public protest against abortion."

Others expressed similar reservations. We eventually approved the group's request, but this was only the beginning of what would become one of the most controversial issues of my twelve years of ministry at Christian Chapel in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Superheated issues in our society have a way of starting fires within the church walls. Political wars can become church wars. Of no issue is that more true than abortion.

As a pastor, I had been reticent to get involved. ...

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