The steep results of relegated Christianity
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
The post I wrote on Monday, When Are You Going To Stop Worrying About The White House... was a pretty strong message. The other day, I thought about how my delivery, in the way in which I teach, is always so strong. For a split second I felt bad about it…but then I quickly got over it. A friend of mine remarked yesterday how negative the world is right now. It’s true. People rarely talk about their lives; the fun and exciting parts of their day, because we are too preoccupied with politics and proving each other wrong.
Guess what? There’s a whole world of people out here who aren’t the least bit concerned about the republicans, democrats or the “liberal media.” No. It’s the couple sitting in a hospital room with their small child praying for God’s healing. It’s the family who lost their job and searching desperately every day for a new job before they get evicted. It’s the young, energetic, father who just learned he has cancer. It’s the spouse who just found out about the affair. It’s the couple grieving over their child who was killed by a drunk driver.
Where’s the hope we preach about everyday?
Galatians 5:15 “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
From the days of creation we have always been a people who disagree with one another. For example, the Old Testament records family fights and civil wars. The New Testament records in Corinthians, arguments over human leaders, and some were suing each other (1 Corinthians 1:10). In Philippi, two women were at odds with each other and splitting the church (Philippians 4:1-3). These are just two stories amid many in the Bible. We are people who are different. We are people from different backgrounds and cultures, therefore, our perspectives are always going to be different. Do we not understand that? Because we are different, it doesn’t mean we must live on a personal crusade to devour anyone who thinks differently than we do.
When me and my husband were first married, we would fight like cats and dogs – all the time! Part of the issue was our different background and cultures. Neither of us were willing to seek unity – we each wanted to be right about everything. As a result we were destroying each other. We tore each other apart. We verbally abused one another. We treated each other like enemies. Consequently, we didn’t care about the world around us. We were indignant like everyone else. When we went to work, we contributed to the animosity everyone else was barking about regarding the issues of the day. There’s no difference in what we see in Christians right now. Everyone is right, yet everyone is wrong. We are not a witness to the power of Jesus Christ if we cannot attempt to seek unity.
Romans 14:22 “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”
I just wrote a paper on Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli. Both men were reformers in their respective provinces. There were some things they agreed on – and some they disagreed on. In my paper I notated the differences in their upbringing. They were taught in different manners. Luther was taught the modern way, while Zwingli was taught the old way. Zwingli was influenced by Erasmus, whereas, Luther was not. Because of their educational differences, they approached theology from a different point-of-view. Zwingli did not think doctrine could be indifferent to reason, and Luther was not a fan of reason in terms of theology. There were many other points I noted in my paper, but I highlighted the fact that because of their different backgrounds, they approached theology differently. Another important aspect I mentioned about Luther and Zwingli, was that although they had some disagreements in theology, they both agreed to refrain from any interpretation of the gospel that would threaten the social order.
For the record, I am not suggesting it’s okay to ignore certain aspects of the gospel to appease others, however, I am suggesting that these men were more concerned with unity, as a whole, and were willing to agree, in some aspects, for the sake of public welfare.
How can we seek unity today?
For one, we don’t have to utter every thought and opinion we have, every second of the day, to everyone we come into contact with. There are times we are called to keep what we believe between ourselves and God. (Partly because God will guide us to the perfect time and place to share our understanding) We don’t have to berate everyone under the sun about what we believe. Why do we have such a passion to be right, instead of having a passion for unity?
And in case you were wondering, I received 100 percent on that paper.
John 21:22 ” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
Peter had just finished telling Jesus how much he loved Him and would follow Him. But then Peter became preoccupied with John’s fate. This is why Jesus replied to Peter by saying “what is that to you?” Basically, Jesus was saying, follow me and concern yourself with your Christian life, and do not be concerned with matters that do not pertain to you.
We are too concerned with being right about everything, that we have no time to be a disciple for Christ. We have no time for our brothers and sisters who sit alone wondering if anyone cares about them. We have no time for our brothers and sisters who are wondering if their child will die, or if they’ll be homeless, or if they’re getting a divorce, or if they’ll live to see the next six months.
No, I do not apologize for my strong teachings, because the hatred and division we cause among each other is stronger. We say we are Christians with our mouths but our actions prove otherwise. Christianity has become relegated to our minimal perception of who we think God is. We are leading, by the masses, others down a steep decline. We are not God and cannot take the place of God. It is very possible to disagree, yet still have unity. It is very possible to disagree – and still love others. Christians who are out there winning souls to Christ, and showing love to those who are hurting, and praying for our nation, – have no time to investigate and prove wrong the lives of other people. They’re too busy being a disciple – sharing the love of the gospel – and glorify God.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
What about you? Are you glorifying God in your Christian walk?