If you don’t follow Jesus some of what I’m about to write will likely seem ridiculous to you- but that’s nothing new when considering this or that group’s ideas about life, no?
I happen to know, love and enjoy yet fully disagree with (sometimes all at once!) brothers and sisters all over the world who are:
-a few atheists (who I personally think are agnostics but don’t realize it… for they have no more “proved” God isn’t than others have proved He -is-…)
-Catholics (how many “popes” and “false doctrines” do protestants have?)
-Protestants (one of which I am in the broader sense… while at the same time shudder at the schisms among us… but I guess the first word in protestant is protest!)
-military personnel (whom I support as individuals while not always in agreement about their deployment)
-peace activists (“blessed are the peacemakers”… though “there is a time for war”)
-those who both agree with and strongly disagree with me on any number of things
My point is simply all whom God has created in human form are my brothers or sisters… some “in Christ” and some in the daily sense of reason and choice, who in the practical are living as though they are God. No offense meant by this, I’m simply saying that most of the time and in the larger decisions, we either center ourselves in ourselves, center ourselves in others or else in God. That’s my personal view, feel free to disagree.
Jesus’ commands boil down to two: Love God over all others, Love Neighbor as yourself.
The Christ-follower will ultimately conclude that of all He taught humankind, these are the most important but most difficult things to live out in the daily scheme of things.
And yet this is my quest.
These two are my greatest fails!
I am left to trust in His mercy and forgiveness and to grow in authentic humility in my fails with regard to these two core commands of the Lord.
Yet this is His view and as a disciple who seeks to mature, must be my view more and more.
When we consider all the things that divide us- and frankly, everyone reading this WANTS space between themselves and even others in the local or larger church… nobody wants to be forced into constant fellowship with those they deeply disagree with on what to them are core matters of life. So what must our position be if we are to mature, spiritually speaking?
You can be a close friend and totally disagree on core issues. It isn’t always comfortable. But even the Holy Spirit (Whom Jesus calls “the Comforter”!) makes us UNcomfortable at times! Distance from Him is distance from God.
But when it comes to people and relationships, Jesus even calls us to LOVE our ENEMIES! Whew! Was this just symbolic or a figure of speech? I don’t think so.
I suppose for me, one of the “boils down to’s”) in this is that my sister or brother and I are all flawed, imperfect in our thoughts, speech and deeds… all need grace and mercy… all want to “win the argument” and can all be a bit or a lot self-righteous, arrogant and even downright nasty on occasion.
So is it up to THEM… (shudder when you hear that word:) or ME to love though at times in strong, deep disagreement?
Is it filthy, horrid, damnable COMPROMISE to love while holding a totally different view on this or that methodology, doctrine or even theology?
I’m not saying X isn’t wrong, nor that Y isn’t more scriptural re. this or that teaching or position… I’m saying we are called by our Lord to love one another regardless. Sometimes people of ANY and ALL views fully stink when it comes to such a heart attitude!
I know I know: “slippery slope”… “the road to perdition”… even scripture tells us “don’t even EAT with such a person”… but do any of these trump and rule over Jesus’ commands to love one another- as fellow believers or simply neighbor?
Something to think about.
Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn