Monday, December 26, 2022
You may have noticed there is a huge culture war going on within our country. There is no shortage of issues that are dividing people such as politics, abortion, LGBTQ issues, gun control, removing names from buildings, taking down statues, and climate change to name a few. It is very easy to demonize the “other side”, and both sides do it to each other every day. However, as Christians, we shouldn’t be demonizing anyone. God created all the people on both sides of the issues, and we are told to love everyone.
I have some pretty strong opinions about many issues. I strongly believe that your mother should not have had the right to end your life, and I believe you became you at conception. I will go to my grave standing up for unborn babies that deserve a chance to live because they are alive. However, I will still love those that disagree with me. I will actually like them, want to hang out with them, and would even call them a friend as well.
Some of you may think I shouldn’t be chummy with the other side, especially if it is an issue of Christians versus non-Christians. I can understand why you would feel that way, but it wouldn’t stop me. It also didn’t stop Jesus from going to Zacchaeus’ house. The people grumbled that Jesus had gone to be the guest of a sinner. How dare he get chummy with the other side. Was he not concerned about his reputation? Did he not understand how bad a person Zacchaeus was? He knew exactly what he was doing and stated it in Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” And it worked; Zacchaeus was saved during that visit.
Jesus knew there were people that lived immoral lives and didn’t agree with him about much of anything. They were lost. He didn’t ignore them or dislike them because of their disagreements; he made a point of getting to know them, showed sincere concern for them, and eventually died for them if they would accept him. He wanted to make a difference in their lives, and it is nearly impossible to do that if you take a side against them and demonize them. He took sides against issues, but he did not take sides against the individuals on the other side of those issues. He wanted everyone to be saved. Did some people fluster him at times? For sure, but he never stopped loving them.
Time to ponder:
Are there any individuals or groups of people on “the other side of an issue” that you look down on because of their beliefs or actions? If so, you should forgive them for whatever wrong they have done.
Is it possible to strongly disagree with someone’s beliefs, but still love them as your neighbor?
Is it ok to still support a business that has publicly fought for an issue that you vehemently oppose?