Those we agree with and those we don’t

I believe what I believe because, well, I believe it.  It’s as simple as that.  Just like all of us, my faith beliefs have morphed and shifted and been adjusted over the years that I have followed Christ.  Some because I was wrong in what I thought, some because I was immature in my faith, and some because what I was told was wrong. There is nothing wrong with our beliefs changing. Actually, I would say, often times, it is a sign of growth and maturity.  

What I have increasingly noticed, however, is that there is a distain by many people labeling themselves as Christian for those who have beliefs that differ from their own.  Have you noticed this as well?  It’s a kind of, “I believe X, Y and Z.  You believe something different so therefore YOU are wrong because I am right.”  That kind of thing.  Sometimes it’s not that blatant and sometimes it is.  Either way, I notice it being very prevalent. It is filled with hate and anger and pride, and it is more noticeable to me now than I can ever remember it being.

Anytime I think through things such as these, I go right to God’s Word to seek wisdom and truth. In the book of 1 John and the 3rd chapter, John writes these words, “If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.  Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.”

Well, that’s intense!!!

At times, I feel like our theological disagreements are void of love.  I feel like we are seeking to be RIGHT more than we are seeking to be loving. 

The preacher, the neighbor, the friend, the co-worker…they may not share the same theology.  They may not agree with us and we may not agree with them.  We don’t all HAVE to agree.  But we do all HAVE TO LOVE.  That part isn’t optional.  That part isn’t up for debate.  So, the next time we want to criticize that pastor, or argue that friend into a theological corner, or judge another’s thinking, let us be reminded of the words in 1 John 3:14.  Let us Love each other. Those we agree with and those we don’t. 

And let us remember that being right isn’t what proves our faith, nor does it prove that we have the life of Christ in us…but LOVING each other does.