Wednesday, 22 April 2015

I don´t believe...

Can you love someone who rejects your beliefs? Can you be friends with someone who thinks you're crazy to believe in God? Can you care about someone who thinks you're wrong about the very thing that is central to who you are?

We are often told to not talk about certain subjects, like faith, money, politics, sex, etc.  These are tabu topics if you want to have a 'politically correct' conversation with people you meet.  On the other side of that coin is that we are told, even commanded, to share our faith.  Herein lies the problem, which causes fear.  How do I share my faith when it is considered a socially unacceptable topic?  How do I share what I hold dear, my faith, when I might be ridiculed or even rejected?

Ernie and I often talk about faith with our friends and acquaintances (you might think this is a pastoral or missionary 'occupational habit', when actually this task 'belongs' to all believers). We often open that can of worms at social gatherings, or at the gym.  Then there are those who throw open that door for us...knowing we are people of faith.  Responses vary.  Some people chose to keep their distance, some engage with questions, while some blatantly reject our faith. I say that each response is valid. Jesus himself was questioned, shunned and rejected.

Here is my theory on this topic. I am told to love the Lord, with all my heart, soul and mind, and my neighbour as myself.  I think my job is to love God completely, and that love will cause me to want to share that story with others.  I am called to love those who I share that story with, even if they reject the story, or me.
I think Evangelicals spend too much time hating or judging the world for their worldliness.  We are hating on the gays, hating on the sinners who are not living according to God's laws, and judging them. We judge people for how they are living. We expect people to be like us, look like us, and behave like us to be part of our 'church'.  We allow very little time for the process of changing into Christlikeness (which comes first: believing, belonging, becoming? or belonging, believing, becoming?).

I have been guilty of this, as I am sure you have. Our role model is Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. He is the prefect example of love. He was rejected, despised; even hated. I must live as he did, giving others the option to reject the message, maybe even the messenger. I must love them even if they chose to not believe. Only God knows the end of the story.

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