The term controversy refers to a prolonged disagreement often resulting in heated public debates. These discussions are marked by emotional expressions of opposing views. Altercations take place daily on cable news, college campuses and social media as world views clash. This war of words involves an exchange between two or more parties, wrangling to expose the flaws of their opponent. When someone becomes offended by another belief, comment or post, these words quickly become the center of controversy.
But avoid foolish and ill-informed and stupid controversies and genealogies and dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless, Titus 3:9.
Based upon my observations over the past decade, it appears that three main groups determine, define and dictate what is considered controversy and what is not. Academia, entertainment and the media combine forces to police speech in America. A growing number of universities once focused on higher education, now seek to create safe spaces for their student body. Meanwhile, Hollywood stars are using their platform to become social activists, speaking out against points of view they deem controversial. To avoid being hypocritical, disclaimers are presented before any movie or show, pre-warning audiences about their content. Finally, the media controls news stories to denounce, excite or outrage audiences, hoping to persuade viewers to embrace their side of an argument.
After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him], 11 well aware that such a person is twisted and is sinning; he is convicted and self-condemned [and is gratified by causing confusion among believers], Titus 3:10-11.
During one of his many messages, the reverend Billy Graham once said, “the Bible will always be the center of controversy.” Whoever opens up this book will be challenged to alter their life style. Thus, when an outsider hears commands, decrees and precepts from the Bible, many will be offended. Often responding back with words like “I can’t believe you said that.” The shrewd will reply, “I didn’t, I just quoted God.” Meanwhile, other religions continue to object to Jesus’ own words, “there is only one way to heaven,” John 14:6. Perhaps its time to follow in the footsteps of Hollywood by placing a disclaimer inside each cover of the Bible. Warning this book will radically transform your life if you have ears to hear and eyes to see. No matter what Christians do, atheists, liberals and progressives will continue to refer to the Bible as controversial. Nonetheless, as long as modern believers strive to be salt and light to the world, quiet godly character will be more persuasive than getting caught up in a long winded controversial dispute.
by Jay Mankus