Taking Sides

I made the mistake last night of reading something right before turning my light out that lit up my mind and burned my heart. You can imagine how long I laid in bed, miles from sleep. I should know better than to stir myself up with controversial issues before seeking rest.

Because taking sides is not peaceful. By definition, you’re throwing in your lot with one idea at the expense of rejecting other ideas.

And we are all called to do it. Believing strongly about something is not a sin. Advocating for healthy choices and just legislation is not something we need to apologize for.

I’ve sensed lately in the huge world of social media that although there is much stand-taking (in good and bad ways), there is also the idea that we need to back off and focus on our shared qualities–like motherhood, or whatever. Whereas I agree that we should find connections with others through those shared qualities, I also believe that having strong opinions on issues and advocating for them, can be healthy, helpful, and should not be avoided.

Foundational to the Christian faith is that we take sides–meaning, we align ourselves with Jesus Christ and what He’s revealed as truth in his Word. I believe I’m a sinner. That’s a side that I land on. I believe that the only way to heaven is through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That’s the side I’m on. And by aligning myself with those beliefs, I’m saying that the opposite side is not truth. I understand that’s offensive. But it doesn’t mean I don’t love you if you disagree. Love is not defined by ascent to beliefs of others. That’s way too simple and dismissive of Biblical love.

Taking Sides

I understand that some people are uncomfortable with controversy. That some people promote peace at all costs (but what is that peace they promote?).

But I want to encourage you today to take a stand. For Jesus, yes. But also for what the Lord puts on your heart to stand for–so long as you find scriptural support for it.

And there’s where it gets tricky, huh? We can all stand against sex trafficking. There is obvious scriptural support for standing against sexual abuse.

What about taking a stand for infant baptism? Or your interpretation of end times? Interpretation of scripture on these issues varies. Taking a stand on such issues must be done with huge amounts of grace and humility.

How we stand is vital. Are our words seasoned with grace? Are we encouraging dialogue? Are we honoring the image of God in those who believe differently from us?

Sometimes we are called to take our stand in silence, not defending ourselves. Sometimes we are called to take our stand with words that might have consequences.

So what was it that got me so stirred up last night? The issue of vaccination. I’m apologetically for it–for so many reasons. But this post is not about that. This post is to encourage you to humbly hold to your beliefs with gusto. Starting–and ending–with the truth of Jesus Christ.

Taking sides can be polarizing–because by nature, it contains a polarizing element–but it doesn’t have to be derisive. It can be graceful and a powerful element for change.

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2 thoughts on “Taking Sides

  1. Great post!

    I think that in a lot of ways, we’ve really got to follow Jesus’ example. The centurion whose servant was healed may never have become a Christian, but Jesus worked with him. We don’t know the end of the story.

    And we have to be willing to work with people of different opinions, and different faiths, to do Jesus’ work.

    “Fifty Shades Of Grey” is an example; the movie is pornography, and we can’t be nice about it; it supports an industry which makes use of human trafficking (which is a nice way to say Slavery).

    It’s not OK.

    It also glamourizes the practice of hurting people for one’s own pleasure. This is not a preference, nor a lifestyle. This is evil. We need not point this out in love.

    We need to point it out with force, to bring it to an end.

    And we need to join with Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus and Buddhists and Jews, without hesitation, because this is a battle we must fight together.

    Jesus said that His followers are the ones who visited the sick, and the prisoners; he made no mention of creed in that passage. His followers did His work, and we should aspire to no less.

    Like

  2. When we become Jesus followers, every issue, controversy, dilemma, action, word must be measured by what Jesus through the Holy Spirit has taught us. In His truth, (the only TRUTH) the response is Christ’s. No compromise. But as you said, Sondra, grace is important. Sometimes, I become passionate about an issue, and grace flies out the window. Sometimes, Jesus didn’t seem gracious, ie. With the Pharisees, but I know He always was gracious. Truth sounds hard sometimes. No matter how gentle or gracious we state an argument, some people will always take offence

    PS you are correct ‘re: immunizations. (Just kidding…..)

    Like

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