Rosemans 14

Rosemans 14

Lots of different people call themselves “christian,” but they don’t always see eye to eye on social issues. Just because someone doesn’t see things the way you do, doesn’t mean you should unfriend them or alienate them in some way. You should still welcome conversation with them and find ways to be unified. Perhaps some of your friends have strong opinions, but they have weak faith… so what? Don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with. Remember, they have their own perceptions, life experiences, and news sources that they are filtering everything through, so treat them gently.

Here’s an example: maybe a person who has been watching Fox News is convinced that he can go shopping at Harris Teeter without wearing a mask, while another, who watches CNN, might assume he should wear a mask at all times, and does it with conviction, even in the car buy themself. Since both of them identify as Christians, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they started criticizing one another over opinions about masks? Or perhaps they both read the exact same data, watch the same news channels, and even follow the same scientists on twitter, but they just interpret everything differently… shouldn’t the fact they they both serve the same God be enough to encourage mutual respect and love for one another? Do you have any business shaming another person or excluding them from your friend list just because they hold a different opinion than you on a particular matter? Even worse, do you have the right to judge their salvation or make degrading remarks about their faith because you supposedly have all the knowledge necessary on the issue at hand? If there are any corrections or lifestyle changes that someone else needs to adhere to, do you really think God needs your help to straighten them out? Couldn’t he do it on his own?
Here’s another example: Suppose one person thinks that the church should be “reopening” immediately and providing in person worship services with traditional singing and hugs and neighborly handshakes, while another person is convinced that the church need not take that risk and have house churches again like they did in the New Testament or simply just do church online and offer small groups throughout the week. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow their convictions of conscience without labeling or degrading the other.

What’s important in all this is that if you are a worshipper, worship for GODS sake; not your own. Whether you do it in a building or on your couch. Make it a priority and give yourself to the moments of communion with your family and with God. Stop waiting for someone to affirm your perspective, and just focus on honoring God with your life. Be supportive of your local church and, worship God with enthusiasm and with thanksgiving. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. Ultimately, we are gonna have to answer to God  for everything in this life—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be worshipped and magnified over all these hairy, complex, social issues. He sets us free from the petty arguments and eye rolls that have plagued your timeline.

So where does that leave you when you criticize a family member? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a christian friend? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up on our knees before God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:“As I live and breathe,” God says,    “every knee will bow before me;Every tongue will tell the honest truth    that I and only I am God.”So focus on yourself and not everyone else. Do your thing and let them do theirs. I would imagine you’ve probably got your hands full just taking care of your own self anyway.You should forget about deciding what’s right for other Christians, instead, just focus on making life more simple for other believers. You don’t have to make it more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy!

So we all have a bunch of different opinions about a bunch of different stuff, but let’s agree on this: to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to let arguments over masks, vaccines, and politics wreck God’s work among you, are you? I’ve said this before and I will say it til the day I die, our primary concern should not be our preferences, or “me, myself, and I,” but instead our focus should be to share the life of Jesus with one another. Be sensitive and courteous to the others who are trying to take this one day at a time. Stop posting and saying dumb things that ultimately interfere with the free exchange of love between your church family. Keep cultivating your own relationship with God, but don’t impose your peculiar views on others. It’s hard enough for most of us to behave in a way that lines up with our own beliefs, anyway. And besides, all the data and “science” is changing so fast, it doesn’t even make sense to impose your shifting opinions on others.
So, let’s knock it off.

-ROSEMANS 14

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