Until we are citizens of the new heaven and the new earth, we will live with division and disagreement, both inside the church and within the larger society. How we navigate those divisions and disagreements, and how we treat the people with whom we have them, is of both earthly and eternal consequence.
This is why I share Level Ground’s passionate commitment to its extraordinarily brave vision to:
- Help communities foster relationships between people of differing positions (within and outside the church walls)
- Elevate the public discourse in the midst of disagreement
- Encourage reconciliation instead of division
- Embody Christian discipleship as we encounter a diversity of beliefs
As a Christian strongly committed to biblical authority and to orthodox Christian teaching on human sexuality and marriage, I am thankful for the opportunities Level Ground has provided for me to share my convictions, especially with those who do not hold them. The truth of Scripture is only served by open discussion and testing. The power of that truth allows me to enter the spaces provided by Level Ground with confidence.
Level Ground has carefully and intentionally created spaces for me to share these convictions—and to hear those of others—in a warm and welcoming atmosphere where honesty is encouraged as much as questions. I can think of no other venue that has allowed me to speak the truth in love as Level Ground has. Just as important, Level Ground has challenged me to even greater strength of conviction as its programs have expanded my knowledge and understanding of those whose experiences and views are vastly different from mine.
Level Ground’s commitment to fostering understanding and constructive conversation among people who hold different and strong positions on issues related to faith and sexuality is as necessary as it is rare. I’m honored to be part of this effort to model and cultivate convicted civility. Both the church and the world need more of the art, more of the conversation, more of the civility Level Ground offers.
Karen Swallow Prior, Ph.D., is Professor of English at Liberty University and the author of Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist and Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me. She is a Research Fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.