How to Get Out of a Corner
by Greg Koukl
The Christian gets pigeon-holed as the judgmental one, but everyone else is judging, too. It’s an inescapable consequence of believing in morality.
I have a friend who is a deeply committed Christian woman and whose boss is a lesbian. That in itself isn’t a problem. My friend has the maturity to know you can’t expect non-Christians to live like Christians. But her boss posed a difficult question to her, and talking about it with you might help expand your horizons on how to get out of a tough situation.
The boss wanted to know what my friend’s attitude was toward homosexuality.
Now that’s a tough one, isn’t it, because she’s a Christian and has strong views on the issue. At the same time, she was concerned that expressing her own personal views to her employer (for whom the question was not merely academic) might compromise her situation.
My friend’s response was, “Please tell me what my feelings about homosexuality have to do with our professional relationship?” In sword fighting that’s called a parry. She deflected her boss’s question, pushing it aside by asking about its relevance. Because she was quick, my friend avoided what might have been an unpleasant confrontation.
It was a fair response. Sometimes you’re asked a personal question when it’s not the best time to express your opinion. When we make our case about the Lord or our religious or ethical views, we want to choose the time and place so we can be the most sensitive to the person we’re talking to. We don’t want our views misunderstood or twisted.
In less-than-ideal circumstances it’s entirely fair to say, “You know, I’m not really comfortable offering my point of view at this time,” or something like that. Or, as my friend did, “Could you clarify what this has to do with our relationship?”
My friend had successfully parried the issue for the moment, but suspected it would come up again. She might not be able to sidestep twice. What should she do?
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