Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Can We All Just Get Along?

With all of the differences of opinion in America, I wish we could genuinely try to understand one another at a level deeper than we have been lately. We as Americans are too quick to condemn and then move directly into hate because someone thinks differently than we do.

From reading reports in the press, this probably extends way beyond Americans, but Americans are the people I rub shoulders with every day. I think we could all stand to take a deep breath and chill a bit.

Sometimes I want to say to the radio or the news page, Can we all just get along? Why do we have to pick unnecessary fights? Why is our "you offend me" meter set on such a hair trigger? Is it healthy to be so continually outraged at every little thing and every little issue?

We as Christians should lead the charge in loving and understanding, not in hating and dividing. There are areas of disagreement that we as Christians will not, must not compromise. Some things are absolute. However, we must not foster hate or lash out in anger, even when we stand unequivocally on the truth of the Bible.

We Really need to be slow to throw verbal firey darts when our disagreements are not based on the Bible or our Christian worldview, but are based more on our personal preferences, how we were raised or what part of the nation we live in. Do we realize it is possible to have areas of strong disagreement that have nothing to do with morality or Biblical values?

I am a very firm believer that there are several issues and topics where we must not bend and we must not bow. There are some hills worth dying on. All those hills better be Biblically based. Personal preferences are not worth losing friends, losing limbs or even losing sleep over.

Many, many, many issues we as Americans are fighting over and are outraged over are not really eternally important. We can agree to disagree agreeably and still be friends. Does that make sense? 

If that does not make sense and you think I am a freak of nature and you are even now drawing a smaller circle that excludes me, that is OK. I am very busy drawing a bigger circle that takes you and your circle in. You are welcome to be my friend and brother without believing every little thing like me and thinking every little thought like me.

I will concede that it seems as if the conservative Christians are constantly having to compromise, surrender, capitulate and accept the views of everyone else. That does not seem to be a two-way street at all. 

Those from a secular mindsight, a liberal viewpoint and an amoral position demand that their every little whim is to be welcomed as mandatory principles that must be lived by. Much of the time they give no consideration to other views and opinions.

I have a question about that. How can people that say they believe that truth is fluid and that there is no absolute truth, demand adherence to whatever they declare as their personal truth at the moment? If there is no truth, how can you throw your version of the truth at me?

I do believe in absolutes. I believe in firm boundaries and guidelines for living that fit every human. I am willing to be governed by truth, even to my own hurt. The truth that I believe in is so absolute that it governs me whether I believe it or not.

I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I believe it is true. I believe I can trust the truth of God's Word more than I can trust the opinion of any other person. I can trust God's Word more than I trust my own understanding.

That is my foundational truth. Truth is not affected by the way I feel. Truth is not changed by public opinion or the wild swing of popular culture. Truth cannot be voided by a million tweets, 10 million Instagram followers, a judicial ruling, presidential order or a truckload of new laws.

What I must remember is that the truth of God's Word also teaches me how to respond to others that reject the truth. If they persecute me, hate on me or despitefully use me, the truth guides my response.

If you reject the Bible, reject the very idea of unchanging truth, reject the notion that anyone could ever know what is best for any other human based on a code of ethics and instruction for living that I believe, that is OK. 

I happen to think you are wrong. I happen to think your thinking is dangerous for your future, for society at large and for your children. I think you should reconsider and listen to sound reasoning.

However, the very truth that I love and that you reject, teaches me to love you, respect you and to treat you with kindness, courtesy and consideration, 

I better make sure I am doing that before I declare that you are unreachable, unteachable and unredeemable. Are those real places that people can reach? According to God's Word, absolutely. But I think that line is a whole lot farther down the road for people than we sometimes proclaim it to be.

I am determined to keep loving, keep reaching, keep teaching and do my best to hold the door of opportunity open for everyone I can. Anyone can quickly condemn a person because they disagree, but a Christian should keep right on being a Christian even while disagreeing.

What do you think?

Thank you for reading today.



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