Sad reality: one of the most divided places in the country is the church on Sunday mornings.
I’ve heard this phrase (or something similar) tossed around by Christians a lot lately: “How can you be a Christian if __ ?” I hate phrases like this because it’s basically another way of saying “I’m on this side, you’re on that side, and God is on my side.”
*excuse me while I throw up*
What if I told you that wasn’t true? What if God wasn’t on your side because he’s bigger than both sides?
This kind of language is what justifies horrible actions committed by followers of the Prince of Peace. This kind of reasoning is how followers of the God of All Comfort get away with only treating people well who agree with them. This is the kind thinking that divides our world, starting right down the middle of the Body of Christ.
Can I say it louder? GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOUR SIDES!
And no, you’re not bigger than the command to “love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (word of Jesus in John 13:34-35).
This was a command given to followers of Jesus, directly among whom were government sell-outs and political rebels. There was a really intense political and ideological division, even among Jesus’ first 12 disciples.
But how did Jesus love them (and us)? He died for both of them. And how does the Church grow and thrive today? We lay down our strong positions to sacrificially love each other…regardless of ideological persuasion.
Unity doesn’t come from uniformity. We remain unified in the Church – not when everyone finally agrees with us – but when we remain united in our mission…which is still possible to do with someone who voted different from you.
Jesus isn’t hoping your favorite political party thrives. He’s hoping his Church thrives.
So let’s stop saying, “I’m on this side, you’re on that side, and God’s on my side.” Let’s give up the fight to be right. Let’s lay down our verbal swords.
And instead, let’s show the world what it means to experience the love of Christ in the Body of Christ…
…what a crazy concept.
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