I wish I could take back my previous post and post it in a few weeks. When emotions aren't as high, and the topic isn't clogging up every body's facebook pages.
Because what I have to say is something I am deeply passionate about. Not just this week, not just the week of Chick-fil-a drama, but every single day of my life. My husband and I both feel very passionate about teaching the church how to love those living different lifestyles than us. We see a great need for Christians to gain understanding of those living alternative lifestyles.
Emotions ran high this week. People on both sides of the debate felt threatened.
And I understand why. Rights were seemingly being taken away or freely given, but emotions were to blame for a lot of disgusting things I read.
We are still missing it.
It hurt deep in my gut.
What hurt the most was that so many people were speaking truth and stating the message of the bible.
But I rarely saw love.
I've been guilty. In the past I would have argued until I was blue in the face why I thought gay marriage was wrong according to the bible.
But this is where I was messing up: It's not about proving the other side wrong.
If I could share one thing with those inside of the church and outside of it, it would be that just because you don't stand for gay marriage does not mean you hate someone and just because you are for gay marriage does not mean you hate those opposing you,
But words can sure make you sound like you do.
How we disagree can show hate.
How we argue and discuss our truths, our world views and how we share biblical truth.
Are we being merciful, compassionate and full of grace?
Or are we short, stubborn and unable to truly try to seek understanding of others views on the world.
That was the biggest issue that broke my heart. Christians lack of understanding to this simple truth:
Everyone is entitled to their own view of the world. Everyone.
It's called freedom. It's called free will.
While I do believe there is absolute truth, the person next to probably believes that his/her religion is truth...and believe it with all their heart.
Just like me.
Or an atheist. They have strong world views too.
When someone does not share the same world view as us, it is ineffective to just tell them they are wrong and to try to prove just how wrong they are.
We need to understand that we cannot pound world view into their minds and hope their heart follows. I'm sure, on occasion, this does happen, but true change will occur when their hearts are changed.
We have to stop thinking we can change others by our facts and our own views on the world. Because why would they just abandon their world view if their hearts have not received revelation of anything different?
"I would say that the powerful, revolutionary thing about Jesus' message is that he says, 'What do you do with the people that aren't like you? What do you do with the Other? What do you do with the person that's hardest to love?' . . . That's the measure of a good religion, is - you can love the people who are just like you; that's kind of easy. So what Jesus does is takes the question and talks about fruit. He's interested in what you actually produce. And that's a different discussion. How do we love the people in the world that are least like us?" -Rob Bell, Full Article Here
Am I suggesting that we change or alter what we believe to be truth?
Not at all.
But we do need to recognize that everyone perceives the world and truth differently. And while they are still in need of Jesus, we need to learn why they believe what they do. Just as I hope that someone would ask why I believe what I do, we need to learn what makes other people just as passionate as ourselves.
If we only confront and challenge people from a distance, we will never get to that level of friendship and love that shows people
"Befriending sinners is better than belittling sinners…better to be on the porch waiting for a struggling friend to return than on the side of a relational grand canyon you’ll never be able to cross. People almost always in times of great personal need, return to those who have dignified their personal journey and given them space to learn for themselves." - Hugh Halter, Would Jesus Bake a Cake for a Gay Wedding
Lets not forget that this weekend, Easter weekend, is about a gift that we are so very much undeserving of.
A gift that was for everyone and still is for everyone.
Let's remember why Christ died and for who He died.
He died for all of us.
Not just those who think they have it figured out. Not just those who stand for His truths, but those who believe so differently than us too.
He died to give them life and life abundant in this life (John 10:10).
Even if they won't accept it. Even if they won't believe it, follow it, or pursue it.
He still died for them.
He cares about them just as much as He cares for us.
So let's try to speak with love and compassion towards one another. Let's try to show each other the love of Jesus that even we don't deserve.
Lets remember why we are set apart in the first place, for it's nothing that we did to deserve His love. For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Speak in love, my friends. Love those who seem so different from us. Learn from others.
Because in reality, in Gods reality, their needs are no different than our needs.
We are ALL on this earth for a purpose. We were all created in His likeness and He longs to see us walk in fullness with Him.
Happy Easter, everyone!