This is exactly the type of vehemence of which I speak. If I close my eyes, I can see a crowd of church leaders and people in positions of power standing round a cowering woman. Each leader is adament that something must be done to cleanse the most recent scurge upon their society. They stand poised, stones in hand – hate in their hearts!
Would you truly contend that because I don’t believe exactly the same way that you do that I have somehow defaulted on my Christianity? If that is the truth, then that is very sad, and you and I don’t know, love and worship the same God.
The pulpit is a place of exhortation, a place of encouragement, a place of teaching and learning, and at times a place of correction. But never in the scriptures, did Christ use tactics of belittleing or bashing to convey the correction of thinking He thought was errant. It would behoove all of us to do as you say – take on the LIKENESS OF CHRIST. May I remind you of Philippians 2?
Imitating Christ’s Humility
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Shining as Stars
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
I am astonished at the response of my fellow Christians to this election. I have not heard anyone from the Democratic camp refer to the president elect as a Savior, however I have seen countless references to him as such from Republican Christians. Is our faith so small, that we believe that God is not in control? Has God somehow lost his grip on America, and we are now tumbling perilously out of control, headed into the depth of hell itself because of one election?
I will not even respond to your last slinging of arrows. But here’s the beauty of the situation. You do have the right to say to me whatever you feel you need to say. I have the right to journal my thoughts here on a blog or elsewhere. I don’t really expect anyone else to read what I’m thinking or feeling, but for me it is an exercise in catharsis. More importantly, I know that I am LOVED so completely by a God who encourages me to use the brain that He has given me.
We are blessed to live in a country where we have the freedom to express our opinions without fear of reprisals or persecution. I am even thankful for your disgust with me and my ideals – it simply serves to prove my point. I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong. You’re not standing up in a pulpit using your position as a pastor to unduly coerce people to do as you say and not think for themself, lest they suffer the fate of an unbeliever. You are simply another person, just like me, who found something that made them think and chose to respond. I can agree to disagree. I hope that you can do the same.
Finally, I would like to leave you with this, and I pray that you will be encouraged and not further incensed:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
[ Love, for the Day is Near ] Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 3:8
[ Suffering for Doing Good ] Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
Your Sister in Christ!