Many people with strong convictions can attest to a simple yet insightful fact: beliefs are double-edged. They have potential to guide to deep truth and compassion, but can also devolve into hypocrisy and self-righteousness, and thereby contradict the very values promoted in the first place.
This is my story with the conservative evangelical church.
(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.)
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.