All the arguing I see occurring in the media these days (Radio, Newspaper, TV, Billboards, etc) seems to be to one end: to get people who don’t agree with one point of view to change their mind and join ‘us’.
Republicans versus Democrats
Runners versus Cyclists
Vegetarians versus Meat Eaters
Metric versus Imperial
Football versus Futbol
This list is endless. At my workplace the different departments are forever at war, trying to get their point of view accepted by everyone else.
In religion at large and Christianity in particular we are unrivaled in this sort of divisiveness.
Starting at the East-West Schism, which created Eastern and Western factions in Christianity around year 1000, we’ve split and splintered to the point that a telephone book has more subsections under ‘church’ than anything else.
It makes you wonder why the scriptures didn’t tell us not to do such a thing.
Wait, what’s that Paul?
"I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church…Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.” Has Christ been divided into factions?…Of course not!" (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
There’s only one way to stop fighting ‘us versus them’ battles in life: stop seeing anybody as ‘them’.
It’s all us.
Chose to ignore the temptation to put people who don’t agree with you ‘over there’ in your mind.
There aren’t ‘bad people out there who think abortion is okay.’
Some of us support abortion.
There aren’t ‘gay marriage supporters out there.’
Some of us support gay marriage.
Let me be clear: I’m not saying I support abortion. And I don’t support homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle choice (though I’m not in favor of legislating against gay marriage). But some of my fellow human beings do. And I’m not going to put them in a ‘sub category’ or ‘bad category’ because they do.
They’re children of God, just like I am. It’s ‘we’, not ‘them’.
God wants me to fight for people, not against them.
Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). I know. God’s love had done it to the multitude of sins in my life. Now it’s my chance to share that love with others. To forgive sins.
How much more should I forgive simple differences?
You think church should be on Saturday instead of Sunday? No problem!
You think we can ask saints in heaven to join us in praying to God? Okay!
You think we need to use grape juice in communion instead of wine? Sounds good to me.
You know why? God is for us. So who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
In other words, let God worry about those who oppose him.
We just need to proclaim his good news. We’re not getting ‘them’ to agree with ‘us’, we’re simply making sure all of us are aware of His love.