Choosing Friendship over Doctrine: Rethinking my Approach Towards Conservative Asian American Christians

(We all know how difficult it can be to discuss controversial topics, such as politics or theology, with friends who have different beliefs than you. The following is a brief reflection on my process of choosing friendship over being right.)

Photo courtesy of Gia Canali Photography (

Recently, I attended an evangelical event with some 300 other Asian Americans. The event had a reception to honor a particular pastor who is a long-time friend of mine. Due to my pre-conceived notions about his conservative theological convictions and church community, I prepared myself for an uncomfortable and (potentially) argumentative day.

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Reflections on How We Discuss Politics at Church

(Note: Below is a reflection on the problems with how we discuss politics at church. For context, I’ve noticed this pattern in the churches I either attend or am familiar with, which are largely evangelical, conservative, Asian American, and multi-generational with leadership over the age of 50.)

Shortly after the 2012 presidential elections, I engaged in an email discussion about the role of evangelical faith in American politics with a few older men from my church. Those involved in the discussion were not out to advertise their own political agendas nor did we see eye to eye with each other. We were simply concerned with the increasing polarization of opinions in American politics and how to have constructive dialogue in the church context.

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