If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Rom. 12:18
This text has been heavy on my heart as I process my time at annual conference. We are: a diverse group of people: from different cultures, possessing different life experiences and sometimes different biblical conclusions…that come together once a year and have intimate discussions around a table. What could go wrong?…
One person said we would agree more if we looked to our bibles like the early church. And yet, God’s people didn’t always agree in the Bible. Rom 14 tells us one example of the Church differing on eating food sacrificed to idols and on what days we should worship. Paul’s response? ‘Don’t pass judgement on disputable matters…each of us will give an account to God.” It’s clear the apostle had an opinion but he cared more about their unity than the right answer. Can Rom. 14 be abused so the church accepts anything and we lose our mission of living and proclaiming Jesus? Yes! But to me, it’s a reminder not to judge, despite our differences.
Speaking of differences…. let us not argue about them…let us live them out!
If evangelism is your focus… then go and evangelize!
If living out the teachings of Jesus of Jesus is your emphasis…then feed the poor, visit the imprisoned and give that voice to those on the margins of society!
If you think we are losing our passion for the Bible…then teach it and preach it to anyone who will listen!
At annual conference I was surrounded by friends, mentors and spiritual big brothers. I also met new brothers and sisters in Christ. I would not have met anyone if I stayed back in disapproval. Today’s climate in the world and unfortunately in the church is to live in fear. To make assumptions based not on facts or personal stories, but fear.
I choose not to exclude and judge or live in fear…but as much as I can, live at peace with everyone.