Choosing To Love Though We Disagree

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” – I Corinthians 13:1-3, The Message Bible.

It amazes and saddens me to see and hear about how many hateful acts are perpetuated in the name of religion. Looking closely at the teachings of Jesus Christ, you see that the central tenets of his message revolve around love.

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16)
“Love the Lord your God with all you heart, all your soul and all your might..”
“Love your neighbor as yourself..” (Matt 22:37-39)

The gospel message is birthed in, drenched in and fulfilled in love. We can never spread that message authentically, nor can we expect to see long lasting fruit, if we speak out of hatred, pride, superiority or any sort of disdain for our fellow humans.

If one holds true to the tenets of one’s faith, if one is not to compromise based on the social norms of the day, then it is inevitable that doctrinal conflicts will arise between proponents of different religions, and between the religious and the secular-minded folks. How you and I handle these conflicts ought to show who we are, and whether or not we truly follow Christ.

“By this men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”, said the Lord Jesus. (John 13:35)

Does this mean that I have to agree with, or approve of things that are contrary to my faith or my sincere convicted interpretation of scripture? No, a thousand times no. To love someone is not necessarily to agree with them. It is to decide, despite the disgreement, to show kindness; to endure wrong; to be humble; to seek the well being of the other person.

There is much for us to debate about in our society today: religion, politics, race, sexual orientation, immigration, and so on. You will find committed Christians on many different sides of the respective arguments. Not everyone is right, but the result does not have to be hatred and strife.

I choose to love you, though I disagree with you. That sentence, sincerely lived, can change our world for the better.

We All Need to Be Saved – From What?

The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  You must have heard people talk about being “saved”.  Saved from what?  Saved from our sins. Saved from the Law of Moses, which placed a heavier burden on us than we can bear.  Saved from the curse which condemns all mankind to an eternity of separation from God.

We all need salvation, no matter how good we think we are.  We are born with sin within us.  Made in God’s image, but tainted by the original sin of Adam and Eve, we are cursed to walk the earth in separation from God, toiling the earth, suffering sin’s consequences and raging at the skies.

It’s a cliche, oft spoken, that we each have a God-shaped hole inside of us.  I find this truth to be self-evident.  We as humans need to worship something.  We make carvings of wood and stone and bow down to them; we exalt singers and athletes and pour out our adoration upon them; we acknowledge “the universe” or “mother nature” or all manner of spirits; we continually seek out objects of worship because we are made to worship.  Sadly, so many of us miss out on the one who were were originally made to worship.

Who Were We Made to Worship?

The Bible tells the story of how the apostles went to a Greek town and found a plaque dedicated to worshiping “the unknown god”.  They proceeded to make known to the people who this unknown God is.

So who is this one we were originally made to worship?  How do we find Him in the midst of all the noise of this world?  We can find Him because he first found us.  He revealed Himself to mankind in many ways over thousands of years, and finally through His own Son, Jesus Christ.  How do we know? We know because Jesus said so.  His words are recorded in numerous historical accounts, the most important of which are collected in what we now call the “Gospels” in the first part of the New Testament.  How can we trust what Jesus said? Because He proved himself.   Not only did he heal the sick, raise the dead and open the eyes of the blind while on earth, but he predicted his own death and his resurrection!  (See John 2:18-22,  Matt 12:39-40, Matt 16:21, John 10:17,18).

The Resurrection of Jesus is the Ultimate Proof

God had sent many great prophets before Jesus.  Even Jesus himself had warned his contemporaries that if they would not believe Moses and the prophets, then they would not believe even if someone came back from the dead.  This sadly has also been proved true.  Jesus was very publicly executed.  He was buried in a tomb, a huge stone rolled in front of it, and guards placed at that tomb to deter grave robbers.  Despite all this, the body vanished on the third day. The third day.  Just like Jesus had foretold.  Afterwards, hundreds of people testified to having seen him alive. They held fast to their testimony,  despite persecution, threats, and ultimately, martyrom.  All but one of Jesus’ closest companions were killed because of their testimony – their assertion that Jesus had risen and they had seen him.   It has been said that scarecly would someone die for something they know to be a lie.  Pretty much all of them gave their lives spreading the good news. Why? Because they knew it was true.  They had seen Him, known Him, and bore faithful witness to His resurrection.

I believe

I believe the words of the Apostles.  I believe their record of the words of Jesus.  I will therefore seek to follow His, and their words faithfully.  Having believed, I have felt the impact of God’s Spirit on my heart, on my life, such that I could not walk away even if I tried.  I am a believer for life.

What will you do with Jesus?

The evidence is there, laid out for generations and generations, and many have believed through the years.  What will you do with all this?  What will you do with Jesus?  God loves you. He sent His Son to die for you, so that all who believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins which had separated us from God.  All you have to do is believe in your heart, and then confess with your mouth that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved.

What will you do with Jesus?

Let Us Walk Together

I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ from a young age, and have sought to follow him for the last 30 years.  Sometimes I’ve done so faithfully, and sometimes I have not.  I am not yet perfect – far from it, but I do have a lot to say, a lot to share, and a lot to teach.  As I teach, I hope to be taught, as I speak I hope to be spoken to, by you, by God’s Holy Spirit, and by my own God-inspired conscience.

I plan to write freely from my heart, as the Spirit leads, baring my thoughts, feelings, doubts and fears, being strong and weak openly with you and hoping that all this inspires someone.  In return, I hope and expect open and honest responses, wherever you are on your faith journey.

Come, let us walk together.  If you have not yet started your journey, come, hear about the path, and consider taking your first steps.