Tired of what your seeing on the news and hearing in the halls at work ? Frustrated with the polarized passion of our culture pushing us into taking a certain side… “for or against” is the only real option we’re given on the issues that matter.
The crisis in Syria, war or restraint ? For or Against ?
Same sex marriage laws ? For or Against ?
Minority rights and prejudiced cops – the Ferguson fiasco ? For or Against ?
Democratic or Republican ? For or Against ?
Common Core education in the public schools ? For or Against ?
Abortion and Mothers right to choose ? For or Against?
Handgun laws and restricted gun laws ? For or Against?
It’s a constant barrage of artificially induced agitation from our media, fueled by special interest groups and political agendas designed to manipulate us into taking a side, to pick and choose who and what we’re going to support from one extreme position or the other. All of it done in a 90 second sound-byte without time to reflect if the truth could very well land us in the middle of a debate.
How can a Christian parent or family biblically navigate these troubled waters and what do we as believers need to be aware of when setting the example for our kids and those who look up to us?
Couple of quick thoughts.
1 – Reconciliation is the heart of God. First between our heavenly Father and his created children, and then between each other. For the Christian, reconciliation should be in our heartbeat of every day life. A decision we make each and every time to ‘choose’ to forgive, to determination to keep short accounts with God and each other. Reconciliation defuses our isolation and division between brothers and sisters and removes the temptation to prejudge people, circumstances and events from an ‘offended’ life view.
2- The body of Christ will not successfully impact culture by claiming moral superiority and reasoned debate. It will be our actions as individuals that makes the difference. Our willingness to ‘listen’ and not preach. Our respect of other viewpoints and persuasions is essential for building relationships and not simply proselytizing for new members.
3- Standing firm on principle, but approachable and gentle in spirit. Christian values may offend others, but let the offense be in Christ and not in us. We’re far too often the personality driven tools that force others to choose “For or Against” biblical beliefs, guilty of the very same approach that our secular counterparts use to polarize and divide the masses.
My prayer and hope; that we as individual Christians will decide to cross the gaps in our personal lives. To choose to engage in relationships with those we don’t easily understand or agree with on the surface. To be discontent with our current polarized way of living, to risk being uncomfortable and to drop our defenses long enough to discover the heart of each other.
Quote from AW Tozer;
“No church is any better or worse than the individual Christians who compose it….
One consequence of our failure to see clearly the true nature of revival is that we wait for years for some supernatural manifestation that never comes, overlooking completely our own individual place in the desired awakening. Whatever God may do for a church must be done in the single unit, the one certain man or woman. Some things can happen only to the isolated, single person; they cannot be experienced en masse…
Three thousand persons were converted at Pentecost, but each one met his sin and his Savior alone. The spiritual birth, like the natural one, is for each one a unique, separate experience shared in by no one. And so with that uprush of resurgent life we call revival. It can come to the individual only.”
From his book, The Size of the Soul, 14-15.