News of next week’s Lifetree episode on Ted Haggard’s tale of temptation has lit up the news wires. From USA Today to Reuter’s to CNBC to The Christian Post, everyone is buzzing.
Haggard’s controversial filmed interview will fire up lively conversation about temptation and restoration at Lifetree Cafes around the country. But not everyone is happy about this.
A woman in Pennsylvania complained to a local Lifetree Cafe about an ad for the episode, entitled “Temptation: When Good Men Go Bad.” She also objected to this week’s episode, “America’s Love Affair with Vampires.” She said the topics were “just a little too cutting edge” for her and her religious friends.
She said, “I understand how you’re trying to engage people in discussions, but it should be enough to talk about real lasting joy, or hope, or peace, and not have to use a gimmick to draw people in.”
The local Lifetree director responded to her with this: “We are having success, and many are finding hope and lasting joy. Topics like ‘The Art of Loss,’ ‘Autism,’ ‘Dealing with Difficult People,’ ‘Temptation,’ and even ‘Vampires’ bring in people who are hungry for the truth. I guess some believe that Christians shouldn’t address topics like vampires, even though the Twilight series skyrockets and kids in church youth groups are infatuated by them.”
He continued: “I guess it is cutting edge, but we believe it is right where God wants us–in the midst of people with needs. So I can understand concerned religious people voicing opposition, for even Jesus took shots for hanging out with sinners–Luke 15:1-2.”
It’s an ongoing debate. Some want to avoid talking about difficult or “cutting edge” things. “Nice people don’t talk about these things. Especially not at church.”
The assumption seems to be if we avoid certain life issues at church, maybe we can make them go away. But here’s the deal. People are going to talk about these things whether we deal with them or not. We can choose to stand by and let the world talk about these things without us. Or, we can enter in and insert God and the love of Christ into the conversation.