I reject the notion that the solution to any communal tension is to pretend it doesn’t exist by not talking about it.
As a pastor I have been explicitly discouraged on occasion from speaking about certain topics in the church because the topic itself–not simply the way or time in which in which it was approached–was considered inherently divisive.
Yet topics in themselves do not have the power to divide. Only our reactions and responses to them do.
And by not speaking about difficult topics openly and keeping each other accountable to loving, respectful dialog, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to actually resolve tensions in a healthy way.
We have already surrendered to the demonic spirit of division.
By fostering a culture of silence, we sponsor a culture of suspicion that necessarily leads to fear, relational rejection, and pain.
Worst of all, we are behaving as if our mutual faith in Christ and love for Christ in one another is not truly enough to be the ground and glue of our relationships.
Either we can trust Christ and his Spirit with our whole selves and community (including disagreements and tensions) or we can’t.
I believe Christ is trustworthy.