Stand Strong, With Love (September 2015 Newsletter)

This  world seems to be be getting crazier and crazier.  The political and social unrest in this country, and around the world, seem to be building to a powder keg.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but it seems to be building to a huge explosion.  Think about it.  On one side, you have the “Black Lives Matter” crowd not only protesting, but in many cases rioting and destroying their own neighborhoods.  Some of them are also calling for and celebrating the unprovoked shootings of police officers across the country. 

We’ve got groups like Planned Parenthood apparently selling aborted baby parts.  And how you react to this organization seems to put you on one side or the other.  You either completely support everything they are doing, or you are completely against everything about the organization.  Then you’ve got the county clerk in KY that is still refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.  Some are calling for her head, while others are hoping that she stands her ground.  I even came across a comment from a friend of a friend on Facebook the other day about this woman.  She thinks she should lose her job, but she actually went as far as saying that she would literally spit on her is she ever has the chance.

I get that some of these issues are far from black and white.  There is nuance to them, and we’re all going to have somewhat of a different opinion on each of them.  But I’m going to quote Ed Fannin here for a minute, and hope he doesn’t mind.  I recently heard him say something along the lines of, “Just shut up and love someone”.  It might have actually been, “Just shut up and get along”.  Either way, I think you get the point.  I’m not saying that we should stick to our convictions.  In fact, I pray that you will all stick to those convictions, especially the ones that are biblically based.  I can’t support anything that is considered sin, and I’m going to stick to that conviction.  But I can stick to that and still show love to everyone around us.  In fact, our ability to show that love to others, especially the ones that don’t agree with us, that shows that we are living out our Christianity. 

We can’t afford to have a “holier than thou” attitude.  We are no better than the next person.  In fact, we are all the same.  I want to leave you with a couple of passages, and I’ll just let them speak for themselves.

Romans 3:21-24, 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:9-14, 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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