This morning I came across an interesting post here on WordPress by a person who is making the point that the church has split. It was his view that we have two branches now, one that is based in hyper-conservative bible-based dogma, while the other is based upon humanitarian love. The post goes on to describe a crisis in which those who are “theologically correct” are in opposition to those who are morally right, liberal, loving and human, but technically incorrect theologically. (My characterization, but I believe accurate and fair)
So if a person is theologically correct, they are less moral? An interesting view.
My purpose in writing this is not to engage in any argument, tempting though that may be. My purpose here is to pose a question for all Christians to consider, whatever our views may be on this or that.
Is it really necessary to marginalize our brothers and sisters in Christ who have different views than our own? Note that I said “brothers and sisters in Christ.” When I say that, I am referring to those who also hold to the essentials of the Christina faith centering around the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I once knew a pastor who had a growing church of believers who were living changed lives, who were taking the Gospel into the community, and in short appeared to be a vigorous and healthy congregation that was doing the things that anyone would associate with a healthy church. That pastor had very good relations with other pastors in the area and was well-respected by all, until it came to the attention of another pastor in the community that he had a different view on the book of Revelation. He was denounced as a heretic!
Last time I checked, your view concerning this or that theory of Millennialism was not an essential of the Christian faith…
You may know of other examples like this one. The point is why would we behave like this?
If you are a “conservative” theologically, how can you denounce those who are more “liberal;” that isn’t “conservative!”
If you find yourself more “liberal” in your views, why would you denounce those who are more “conservative?” Aren’t you supposed to be open-minded? I suspect that we model the behavior of politicians sometimes.
Most who know me would tell you that I tend to be more of a theological conservative, but can you find me marginalizing other Christians on this blog? I doubt it, I consciously avoid that, even though I hold strongly to my views. I will freely admit that I have no claim on perfection. I try my best to get it right, but I will admit that I make just as many mistakes as you do. I am also a sinner just you are.
Since the New Testament places a high priority on unity within the church, shouldn’t we?
The bottom line is this: None of us has exclusive rights to the love of Jesus Christ. How is it that those who are more “liberal” think they are so much more loving when they marginalize the views of those who are more “conservative?” How is it that those who are more “conservative” should think they are more “loving” when they denounce those more “liberal?” Is any of this love? I think not.
Here’s how I think this should work:
Q: “What if they are sinning?”
A: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Q: “What if those people are getting it wrong?”
A:” Love your neighbor as yourself”
Q: “Are you telling me to condone sin?”
A: “No, I’m telling you to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Q: “How can I be expected to do that when they are so mean-spirited?”
A: “Do unto others as you would they do unto you.”
I would imagine that you are getting my drift about now, right?
End of rant.