A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called Building Bridges which was a bit of a response to the outcome of the Trayvon Martin murder trial- and a response to the polarizing conversations surrounding it. In the post (and I encourage you to read it), I said that Christians should seek to live as bridge builders who reach out, connect, befriend, and get to know people different than them. I want to follow-up with a few more thoughts- not about Trayvon Martin- but our attitudes, actions, and words as Christians.
Have you ever gotten into a discussion with someone about a polarizing topic like gun control? abortion? Gay-rights? Being a Vegan? If so, you know that it’s hard to have a real conversation with someone when they believe their position is right/correct. We can rally around these issues and work towards whatever position we hold on these issues.
But here is something I’ve come to believe more and more:
If the issues we are passionate about are more important than bringing people to the Cross of Jesus- then those issues have become idols in our lives.
If all people see/hear in our lives is our opinion/belief on an issue- and don’t see Christ. Or worse, if our attitudes, words, and actions polarize people- then they become a stumbling block to pointing people to Christ.
Galatians 6:14 says this: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
The context is this: There was a group of people who believed that Gentiles (Non-Jews) should be circumcised to be a follower of Christ. And they let everyone know it. They were militant about it. Division was caused by it. They were “boasting” that they were correct in their view that Gentiles needed to be circumcised to follow Jesus.
Which leads Paul to say “may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Are we more fired up about gun control, gay rights, death penalty, abortion than we are about bringing people to the Cross of Christ? We need to see if our issues have become an idol. We need to see if we are “boasting” in our issue rather than in the Cross of Christ.
Certainly, we can have our opinions and our beliefs- and hopefully those opinions and beliefs are biblically informed and communicated in love and grace. But we must be wise and discerning to not allow our opinions get in the way of the Cross of Jesus. For it is the Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that saves us- not any opinion or belief that I may profess.
This week, in your day-to-day living, ask yourself this: are my actions, words, and thoughts bringing people closer to the Cross of Christ or pushing them away?