I ran across one of the better articles I’ve ever read on evangelical Christianity today. Forget the evangelical label, it’s an article about what how Christianity should be defined and displayed in our world. Emphasis on should, because this picture is a far cry from the version of Christianity that most Americans have come to see.
I want to share this one small excerpt from his segment on the beauty of Christian love. This could be an exposition or commentary on 1 Corinthians 13. Actually, it is, whether the author intended it or not. I wonder how it would change our thinking if we use the ideas he shares here as the colored glasses through which we view all our social differences — immigrants and foreigners, people of other races, languages, or skin colors, people of other religions (Judaism, Islam, Atheism), and so on. What if LOVE, as the author describes it below, dictated how we think about, feel about, and interact with every human being we meet. It would be revolutionary! World-changing!
Love allows us to regard the brother in a foreign land as more than someone for whom things must be done but as one from whom wisdom can be learned. In other words, can we say, “I see that you are different from me” without feeling a need to say, “You must become like me”? Love delights that we can. Love allows us to look past labels and see the “other” and to recognize in them someone very much like myself. In other words, might we say, “You and I are from different tribes” while simultaneously celebrating that people from every tribe will one day be gathered before the throne of God? Love admits that we may.
The author goes on to say,
I am not suggesting that our differences do not matter. Nor am I suggesting that all beliefs, practices, or understandings are equally valid. They are not. There is truth and there is falsehood, and all sorts of shades in between. But we cannot with credibility proclaim a gospel of love and grace if we are not people of love and grace. We dare not offer a God of reconciliation and peace if we are persistently unwilling to be agents of reconciliation and makers of peace. My own beliefs likely do not align perfectly with truth as God understands it. But he loves me anyway, and continually invites me into deeper truth. And he asks me to offer the same grace to others.
Read the full article here: