Who is Jesus?
I'm not a fan of block quotes, but this post is going to center around one. You've been warned.
Lately, I've been led by God to consider the meaning of love. By that I meanagape, the kind of love that we're told sums up every other command and direction God has ever given his people. (Matthew 22:36-40) And even further, what does it mean to speak truth in love ? (Ephesians 4:15-16) I want to be like Jesus: not only professing love or talking about it, but acting it out with genuineness. (1 John 3:18)
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I was recently told that Agape is "the willed commitment to the well-being of another person regardless of how one feels about that person."
The backdrop for these thoughts has been mostly conversations regarding doctrine, primarily about baptism and homosexuality. When a person disagrees with you about a foundational truth, what is your reaction? Suppose the person knows Jesus as God, and worships God as the king of their life, submitting to him in every way they know how. When this foundational dispute arises, what is a loving response?
Mostly, I believe we respond by kindly tolerating their belief until we know how to correct them. Then once we've attempted to correct them, if they still disagree, we politely part ways, and allow them to believe that about baptism while we go away to believe this about it. Is that the right way to approach things?
Here's the quote I warned you about. It's from the filmFurious Love, but I don't know the source that the speaker is quoting (though I believe it's general enough for us to accept).
And there was an interview with a Dutch church historian, and they asked him what did he see about the people of the Dutch church. And he made the most interesting remark. He said, We have dozens of protestant denominations and Christian groups, because, he said, to the Dutch person, truth is more important than unity. And when I heard it, I thought, I have to write to say in a whole sermon what you said in one sentence because, what is truth?
What he meant by truth, and rightly analyzed, is my interpretation of the Bible, my dogmatic views, my doctrinal views. But Jesus said, I am the truth. Truth is not a teaching. Truth is a person, and if you have that person, you have the Truth. And in that person there is always unity. But if we put our understanding of the Scripture and our doctrinal views higher than the person of Jesus, (and I'm going to say maybe something very sharp, and I want to say it respectfully and honorably) we worship idols. Anything you place above the Lord Jesus, is an idol. Our unity is not in a teaching, it's in a person. And in that person, we always find one another. Jan Sjoerd Pasterkamp, Pastor/Missionary to the Netherlands
So I'll restate the question that I've been dealing with. What is the appropriate response to dispute within the followers of Christ? I believe the answer is: rest in your restlessness. Be okay with disagreeing. Most of all, take it to God and ask "Why does this person, who is very much submitted to you, and just as capable of analyzing scripture as I am, coming to a different conclusion? God, what is YOUR heart?"
I know that by the time you're old enough to read this, you have been wrong a few times about something you we're SO very sure of. So now, bring this issue to God, and trust that the other party will do the same. At the end, if you still disagree, don't part ways! Remain with each other, and pursue truth together! When someone else asks you what fact is, present to them without bias what each party has concluded, and why.
I believe that as each side submits to God he will, in his time, reveal to each party what the important aspects are in your debate. Perhaps, however, God doesn't find it to be as critical as you do. Would that be so shocking? God chooses to not answer fully a question that we believe to be foundational and critical? Like why did God create humanity? Why allow suffering? Why allow the enemy to move against us?
What matters is who Jesus is. He is the creator of the universe, and his omnipotence manifest itself in him walking to the cross to die for you. His focus is, and always has been love. In the moments that you disagree with your fellow believer the question you should be most concerned about is "How will we both submit to God, showing love in this moment, and work to bring about his glory?"
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Posted in Sport Post Date 11/05/2020