Can't We All Just Get Along? Sometimes?
This writing is motivated not from any one conversation / blog / thread but from several, all with one common theme, division - more precisely division over "isms". Calvanism, Armenianism, Legalism, Americanism, Judaism, Universalism, Liberalism, Communism, Capitalism, Conservatism... you get the point.
In a recent mild study of Jewish custom & culture of old, I discovered that Rabbis would often "debate" one another. Sometimes 2 of them "paired up" for years, they discussed the Scriptures, Gods Word as they both sought deeper meaning and understanding. It's not uncommon in Judaism to ask questions, question answers and the like. This is a rarity in Christianity all to often and is also often frowned upon. But back to the Rabbis, their discourse could often get heated, yet at the end of the day - or end of ones life the great respect they had for another remained. Why and how could they respect one another? Simple, they realized that they were on the same path seeking the same thing, a deeper and more thourough understanding of Gods Word. They saw themselves in one another, people on a journey in the Lord, learning as they went - sometimes people at different points in their path.
They seemed wise enough to know that we are unable to fully understand Gods ways & meaning. I try to apply this when discussing Gods Word with brothers & sisters in Christ. I'm often amazed however as I read or listen to others banter back & forth how rude they can be to one another, slander, name calling, etc... We are all on this journey each at different points, and so much of whats "fought over" aren't even matters of salvation. The blatant disrespect shows a lack of Christlike Godly love. Can we not appreciate the heart felt desires of one another and recognize the time and passion spent in Gods Word and Prayer seeking greater meaning and understanding?
OR, are we just so arrogant (hence foolish) that we think God has revealed to "us" individually some great "truth" or "reality" that He won't share with the rest of the world? If thats the case, "we" might want to remind "ourselves" that Moses was called a friend - BY God Himself, and yet Moses died still not fully understanding Gods full meaning and ways. This even after he had asked God to "teach me Your ways". So, whos a greater "friend" of God than Moses?
Lastly, I've heard that certain certainties "apply" and while thats true by and large, I've also noted that those blessed enough to be brought up in a Godly Heritage, unlike myself, do not often seem to have the mercy that those given over to Jesus later in life do. I often find that I have far more mercy on new believers, the unsaved and even established Christians who are struggling in their walk while those who have been "in Christ" their whole life don't seem to understand growing up without a knowledge of his grace and mercy. I ask and encourage all of you to extend the same mercy & grace to others that God in Christ extended to you. All of this should be done in LOVE!
Gods blessings all, just to clarify, there is heresey out there, but just because someone sees things a bit different than you that doesn't make it heresey. The belief and acceptance of Christ, recieving his mercy, love and grace, thats Christianity.
~ As a side note, Jesus wasn't American, the "gates of Heaven" don't have an American(s) entrance and Jesus was Jewish - of middle eastern descent, American-ized Christianity isn't "right" as opposed to other nationalities of Christdom being wrong. Some of our ways of worship are customal.