Christians have traditionally had issues with confrontation. This I think is because we espouse a theology that fosters love toward one another, always thinking of the other person than oneself. Maybe because we view ourselves as brothers and sisters, we feel that confrontation is unchristian but unbeknownst to us that we are avoiding the latent ingredient in confrontation that is part of the constituents of a healthy family. We have to be aware of the differential between confrontation and violence. The two are not the same.
One other reason why Christians are confrontive is that Christians are people of conviction, which makes it easily for us to divide the world into “us” and “them.”
Here is my dilemma in avoiding confrontation: Confrontation when unacknowledged and embedded with our false humility or quasi religious pietism, results in suppressed emotion, which could easily trigger off one’s existing anxious emotional process. This results in confrontive people.
We have to confront when we need to but we must avoid violence at all cost if we want to be followers of Christ. We must learn how to be comfortable with confrontation as Jesus was.
Look at the Gospel of Luke and you will find that majority of the stories about Jesus were confrontational. He was in one occasion violent (I mean he got physical). Can you believe that? Remember we are talking about the meek and gentle Jesus.
This is not a call to confront a fellow Christian over sitting on your favorite pew on a Sunday morning service, or drinking the last cup coffee during church breakfast without replacing a new one. This confrontation is about speaking up against injustice, exploitation of the poor and powerless. It is about confronting our political leaders and holding them accountable for their failure to defend the cause of the weak. It’s about holding religious leaders accountable for their failure to reflect what they teach and preach; when they live ostentatious life styles while there are poor people around us. Some of these religious leaders have more than two private jets while there are single parents in their churches who cannot afford to feed their two year old children because they have tithed their last penny in faith to the church. They preach and encourage the congregation to live by faith, while they themselves live in surfeit of luxury. What would Jesus do? We are confrontive over trivial issues but refuse to engage in the real issues facing the church. What shall we do?