Christians are interesting creatures. If you agree with us we’re the kindest people on the planet. If you disagree with us, well, that’s a different story. Anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of Christian vitriol can attest.
What is it about us that makes us so mean to people who see things differently than us? I understand that we have deeply held convictions but isn’t one of those love for our neighbors? Does disagreement absolve us from that command?
It shouldn’t but it often does. Ask the gay marriage movement. Christians haven’t been particularly loving to that group. Why not? Because we disagree with them. Same with the atheists or pretty much anyone else with whom we have disagreement. We are not known for our kind treatment of dissent.
That’s true inside the church as well. This post was sparked by another post that referred to me as the devil. Why? Because they disagree with me. We don’t see eye to eye on music or women’s role. Apparently that’s enough to evoke the exemption clause to the greatest command.
Forgive my sarcasm but I’m trying to point out the imbalance (of which I’m guilty too). We can’t “uphold the truth” while ignoring the most important truth of all. Love for others. That’s the only thing that will ever gain us a hearing with those we disagree.
Not everyone who disagrees with us is a devil. Not all of them have some kind of evil agenda to subvert our beliefs. They’re just people with different views, opinions and positions. Perhaps they are in error. Or perhaps we are! We’ll never know if we don’t first have the courage to love one another.
Love leads to dialogue which leads to increased understanding and respect. It doesn’t always lead to agreement and it shouldn’t. There will be issues that we can never agree on but we can at least agree to be gracious to one another. That’s not a sign of compromise. It’s a sign of maturity.
“Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head.” Eph 4:15 (GNT)