John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – If there is more than one way to God, Jesus is a liar. If there is more than one way to God, Jesus is not one of them.
My Advice – Never let anyone tell you that there are many paths to God. There is only one and His name is Jesus. Correct them firmly but gently and explain why it cannot be. There is no need to be argumentative or try to convince them. Your job (responsibility) is to proclaim the truth (in love). It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict of the truth. It is the other person’s job to accept or reject the truth.
Romans 12:18 – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – All too often, whenever a potentially divisive issue is discussed, either the truth is compromised in the name of love, or love is compromised in the name of truth, as if the two (love and truth) were mutually exclusive. They are not. The reason we know they are not is that Christians are called to speak the truth in love.
- Truth – Being prepared to speak the truth is more than merely knowing what we believe. It also means that we are able to provide clear reasons for why we hold the beliefs and convictions that we do. If we cannot do this, the truth may not be compromised (the truth remains the truth), but our credibility can certainly be questioned.
- Love – We should also be prepared to communicate the truth in a gentle and respectful manner whenever called to do so. While we would expect the same from those with opposing beliefs and convictions (especially if they too are Christians) this is not always the case. When this is not the case, it is not an excuse to throw love out the window. For even if we are equipped with the full knowledge of the truth and can eloquently and convincingly communicate it “in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, [we are] only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” We merely end up winning the argument while losing the heart. In essence, “[we] gain nothing.“
- Truth and Love – “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle [beliefs, convictions], you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” – Rick Warren
- Conscience – We must remain faithful to both the truth (as the Holy Spirit instructs us in the truth) and love (as our Savior modeled for us). This is really the only way we can keep a clear conscience and maintain our credibility with others.
As we Christians watch our views become ever more unpopular in an increasingly polarized culture, the temptation to defend ourselves in vitriolic, even hateful, ways will grow. As we interact with others virtually or in our communities, we must remember our call to live like Jesus. We must not adopt secular rules of engagement regardless of whether culture is religious or irreligious. – Ed Stetzer
My Advice – Always do your best to take the high road.
Mark 13:13 – “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – There are a lot of reasons that people may hate us, but being hated because of our relationship to Christ is nothing to be ashamed of or to fear. Rather we should stand firm in the face of such opposition and not compromise to gain favor.
My Advice – Do not try too hard to gain the world’s favor. It is likely that you will be subjected to a certain degree of dislike or ridicule because you profess to know Christ. Do not be ashamed of this. Be proud of it.