Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Disagree in (real) Love

A few weeks ago, I shared an editorial I had written about my position, as a Christian, on Referendum 74, and the legalization of gay marriage.

I've gotten some great (and some not so great) feedback on that article and, as we speak, I have another post in draft that addresses some of those questions like:
How can you just "turn off" your beliefs when you vote? 
Didn't domestic partnerships take care of "civil rights violations?"
And (the best one, I think) If Christians "don't have time" for political activism, didn't you just contradict yourself by writing this editorial?
Solid questions and I had to pause and think about each one. But, right now, I wanted to talk about what I think is the correct way to disagree with me.

While I feel strongly that my position is correct (I couldn't hold a position I didn't feel was correct, now could I?), I absolutely respect the rights of Christians to disagree with me. The one thing I can't stand, however, especially in Christians, is mindlessness or spiritual laziness. Often we use "being kingdom minded" as an excuse to avoid thinking about tough human issues but, if we are in the business of loving God and loving people, then we aren't allowed to turn our brains off when uncomfortable subjects come up. We're dealing with people who are deeply loved by God. So if someone is using my God's name to do something, especially something that potentially hurts or degrades another of His children, I better be paying attention.

I'm not saying you can't be ambivalent. Trust me, I revisit this issue and question my position every single day. Every conversation I have requires me to filter through my logic and check in with my spirit. This is a good thing. But if I don't get to rest on my laurels, then neither do you.

**Side note, what exactly is a laurel? Like the leaves?
"The expression "resting on one's laurels" refers to someone relying entirely on long-past successes for continued fame or recognition, where to "look to one's laurels" encourages an individual to take inspiration from past achievements to conquer a fresh task." - 
So by way of keeping myself humble and accountable, I want to share with you a message given by Pastor Joe Wittwer of Life Center Foursquare Church in Spokane, WA. This is part of an excellent series highlighting polarizing topics in light of the upcoming elections. If words like "politics" and "elections" make you want to turn of your computer and bury your face in the psalms, please just hold that thought for a moment, this isn't going to hurt.

Pastor Joe is not my pastor but I deeply respect his biblical knowledge, spiritual authority, and selfless love for God's people nearly as much as I do my own Pastor's. While I will admit on the outset that he takes a different stance than I do on this subject, I think this is one of the best examples I have seen of a Christian taken an honest and openhearted look at a difficult issue and disagreeing in love. I'm not going to tell you point by point where and how I disagree because, to be honest, he does an excellent job representing both sides of the argument. We just fall in different places.

But the most important thing here is not that he is even-handed in his arguments, but that, at the beginning, middle, and end of the day, he represents that it is far more important that you see people as precious creations of God, respect them as humans made in His image, and love them as if Christ died for them, because He did.

Now if we were to sit down and talk about this, I would certainly share why I think I am right :) but I know that I would leave the conversation thinking, "Dude you are awesome and I freaking love what you're doing." Well, I already think that...

Thanks, Joe, for doing it right.

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