Christians to the left.
Christians to the right.
Each thinks the other is wrong. The Christian Left (also an organization with a Facebook page) tends to side with liberal Democrats, preferring ideas such as feeding the poor (welfare), peace (war should not be an option), no capital punishment, free healthcare for all, etc. Our friends on the Right feel that Republicans are on their side, embracing capitalism, military action against our enemies, getting people off of welfare and that people should pay for their healthcare. Honestly, each side has some valid points. But, each side also has some serious issues which we need to be aware of.
Who is right? Who is wrong?
I get Christian Left on my Facebook news feed. Much of what they share is spot on. However, some of what they share is way off base. I appreciate some of the articles that expose the deceit of some of our politicians as well as their outrageous statements. Yet, once in a while, they share articles that attempt to show scriptural basis for things that are plainly wrong.
I cannot stand for any article that attempts to justify sin by using (out of context) scripture or specious argument/defense. In one article they shared, the author used a list of scriptures to prove that life does not begin at conception. Not one scripture they used proved this point, but because the author wrote in such great language, it appeared logical. However, they completely ignored what God said in Jer. 1:5, “Before you were in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” As far as I can see, life begins in the mind of God. It is wrong to judge and shame a woman who has chosen abortion, but trying to justify abortion by saying the Bible shows that life does not begin until after birth is wrong, as well.
On The Other Side
I also hear and read what our conservative friends have to say. Should we insist that the rules we embraced for ourselves should be the standard and law for all? Then, should we belittle, bash, judge and cast off those who are living lives that we see as “unholy” or “unclean”?
Many on the conservative side want to do away with welfare and don’t care about the cost of healthcare. I ask…is this really an attitude Jesus would author? He fed the masses…well, He gave the food to the disciples to feed them. Did or would He ever condone turning someone away because they could not afford to see a doctor? Too many conservatives not only want to do away with support systems for the poor, but in some cities they do not want organizations feeding the homeless. Is this what Jesus would do?
Yes, Both Sides
I could list the ills of Left and Right. With a little time, I could show book, chapter and verse as to what is wrong with each and why. We need to remember that God had things written down in what we know as the Bible. We also need to pray and study things out for ourselves and see what scripture really has to say about things.
I am disappointed by fellow Christians who ignorantly embrace specious teachings, statements or articles by anyone, whether the author be conservative, liberal or some renown Christian teacher. I am even further disappointed when Christians embrace teachings, statements and articles which are judgmental, cruel and un-Christlike. It is one thing to attempt to justify sin or to claim that something which is against God’s design is okay…this is truly bad enough. But, to be a Christian and ignore the example and teachings of Jesus Himself is repulsive. This is not to say one side is “worse” than the other, but some words carry a different punch than others do.
Sure, there are articles claiming homosexuality is fine with God and while they sound rather educated, the information is seriously flawed. Does it win anyone to the Kingdom? Probably not. But, if you line up all the folks with all the negative, bashing and judgmental statements against gays, you will see one of the most Kingdom repellent activities of all.
I am not okay with people telling anyone something that is wrong is okay. Satan convinced Eve of such notions. This leads people to believe that we can interpret scripture and God’s commands in a way that suits our desires. They use intelligent wording and apparent/alleged interpretation and definitions to prove a scripture doesn’t mean what it says. While I understand many of the translations in scripture need improvement, some of these well-meaning folks have only made things sound more correct than they are. However, in the midst of all of this, there is no message given that makes anyone thinks God hates them.
This is where the Right Wing Christians step over the line. They shout more messages of what they are against, that people think God is against them. We have well known and respected men like Pat Robertson letting people know what makes him sick concerning homosexuals and Franklin Graham saying that Christians who voted for Mr. Obama should question their salvation. This side of Right has done a lot to show people that God is a God of wrath and hatred, ready to strike against anyone who does not tow His line. Tell me…weren’t the Pharisees and Saducees all about the law and living in such a way to please (or appease) God? Weren’t they the ones who pushed the idea that salvation would come through works and holy living? Jesus often had choice words for them.
Jesus did not advocate sin. However, He did not harp on it. He did not call the woman at the well a dirty whore and then tell her she needed to get right before going to tell the people to come hear Jesus. He did not tell Zaccheus, “I am coming to your house, as soon as you get yourself right.” Everyone was welcome in His presence, to hear Him teach, to allow Him to lay hands on them, to ask Him questions. Do our words show His love or our hatred?
Where Does This Leave Us?
Let’s be careful not to embrace every story or teaching, especially if it is “new”. Examine, study for ourselves and consider other points of view, even if they’re contrary to everything we grew up knowing. We also need to set our emotions aside and embrace what is real and true. How? Again…study for ourselves.
Do research on a topic and find all sides. Seek out the ones that truly prove their claims, When my friend Michael Willingham and I did our articles concerning the Biblical view of women, we stated our cases, citing the teachings of others who laid out solid evidence. We found that many teachings the Church embraced for centuries has been in error. The evidence was there. We studied it for ourselves rather than blindly accepting what didn’t seem right.
Jesus. We can read the accounts of what He said and did while physically on Earth. We also read the activities of His apostles during the dawn of the Church. That is the barometer from which we need to measure our words and activities. Left or Right, we need to do this, in order to be true.