It is okay to disagree – valuing relationships more than theology, culture and loads of other stuff – just a jesus follower


For most of my life, I believed when it came to God, Jesus and the holy Bible, I had to generally be correct. Thinking about an additional point of view was darn close to close to entertaining demons.


These have been the subjects that there could be no disagreement on. Immediately after all, that was grounds for heresy.


I liked all the things neat, orderly and absolute. Immediately after all, if I was particular of issues God-associated, then my worries of life ought to be all but compact, correct? And when a person stepped on the toes of my completely organized beliefs I was afraid (for them of course) and determined to set them straight – mainly because immediately after all, I had figured all the things out.


An intriguing point about life is that it is continually a teacher if we let it be.


Just about every particular person, interaction and new encounter has the potential to stretch us and develop us. As life hit me, quite a few of my structured beliefs started to crack. The absolute, black and white globe I lived in buckled beneath the weight of messy persons and messy scenarios. The two could not stand arm in arm.


I quickly realized life and persons and situations…..are something but black and white.


For instance:


It is uncomplicated to think these who do not claim “Jesus” are destined for hell, till your new co-worker is a Buddhist and lives much more of the Christian life style than any of your “Christian” good friends. It is uncomplicated to say God damns all gay persons to hell, till your kid comes out.


It is uncomplicated to whitewash everybody with distinctive political beliefs as agents of satan, till you fall in like with a person who votes differently than you. It is uncomplicated to say everybody who commits adultery is a terrible particular person till it is your very best friend….and the scenario is just complex.


It is uncomplicated to say everybody who has an abortion is guilty of committing murder, till you listen to the story of a 14 year old who was raped by her father and believed he would rape her kid as well….


It is uncomplicated to say pre-marital sex is the ultimate no-no, till it is you.


Yes, it is far less difficult to point the finger and label issues we do not realize or have context of, as incorrect or sinful. Rather than to appear inward and discover how quite a few places of grey and no cost-passes we extend to ourselves.


Yes, life is something but black and white.


As I’ve grown and eaten loads of humility, I’ve discovered I do not know all the things. In truth, I might by no means know all the things, in particular when it comes to God and what he completely would or would not approve of.


Due to the fact God is so substantially larger than me…and that.


In walking the roads I have traveled, I encountered God in profound approaches. The identical God I knew when I was a teenager is the identical God I know now – it is just gotten so substantially greater.


The beliefs and opinions I hold now, I have not come to lightly. They created more than years of wrestling with scripture and God and Spirit (and persons) till I landed in a bloody pool of tears. The words and beliefs I share now come from a location of depth that I do not anticipate everybody to realize.


And that is okay.


Even so, the much more open I’ve turn into about my progressive beliefs, the much more bothered my earlier good friends and followers became. I obtain messages, emails and texts from former good friends who are “concerned” about me and my faith.


But, I generally come across it a bit strange when a person who hasn’t talked to you in years, all of the sudden reaches out to “correct” one thing you mentioned on Facebook. (I’m generally like, ummm, hi?? Good to hear from you??)


And why is that? Why do they not select to attain out when they understand my marriage is falling apart, but as an alternative attain out when I post one thing they really feel goes against their “set beliefs”? I picture they need to assume there can not be any disagreement about God either…and possibly the rest of my life does not matter as substantially as that…


As for me, I’ve selected to reside my life constructed on relationships – not constructed on an agreed statement of beliefs.


Due to the fact, that is how Jesus lived. He was surrounded by persons of quite a few distinctive backgrounds and beliefs. He didn’t shun these who believed differently or who asked concerns (in contrast to the religious camp). Alternatively, he broke bread with all types of persons and connected with them.


Possibly that is why he stood up for the lady caught in adultery? Possibly that is why he healed the sick without the need of asking for a confession of faith (even on the Sabbath)? Possibly that is why he (as a Jew) talked to a Samaritan lady as an equal and didn’t shame her? Possibly that is why he told a story of a “good Samaritan” which in that culture didn’t exist?


Possibly that is why Jesus continually challenged stereotypes and religious no-no’s mainly because he existed in an location that wasn’t so black and white – he existed with humans.


1 of my favored issues about the Jewish culture is how they debate and view understanding. In an short article, The Art of Debate: Jewish Style it states, “In classic Jewish books of understanding, the ideas of starting and finish do not exist. It is all about the middle — about the dialogues, the discourse, the exchange of ideas…” They will wrestle and wrestle more than scripture, more than tips, more than theology – and stroll out the very best of good friends.


Due to the fact they think debate – disagreements – are excellent, healthful and OKAY.


And so, it is now turn into my mantra to be comfy with disagreements. I’ve embraced the concept that getting differing views is okay – healthful even – so lengthy as it is respectful. That we can be good friends even if we do not agree on all the things in truth we might be even greater good friends, mainly because we will almost certainly challenge and stretch eachother.


Due to the fact we all come with contexts and experiences of our personal.


Every single of us have traveled journeys special to us. And, I trust that your beliefs (what ever they might be) have not come without the need of grueling experiences – which is why I respect them and would not attempt to alter them. They are possibly experiences that I can understand from.


Your journey is valid. And so is mine. We are all traveling on this wild, road collectively. When we encounter variations, we can set the tone for how they go. We can select no matter whether a person will leave feeling our like or feeling judged and like we carry a greater-than attitude. We can pause and don’t forget there is much more to the particular person in front of us than our disagreement.


Worry is the ultimate enemy of like. Decide on not to worry what you might not relate to or realize. Alternatively, press in and be a excellent listener – who knows, you might essentially understand one thing.


It is okay for a person to think differently than you. It is even okay to disagree. The globe will not fall apart. I guarantee &#x1f642











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