Friday, 18 November 2011
I'm Travis. I am a Christian. It's safe to say that I believe you're wrong about the existence of the Creator God found in the Bible and about the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I say that the existence of God (specifically YHWH) and the Lordship of Jesus are facts; 100% truth. Right? Why wouldn't I as a Christian? Obviously we disagree. We both (hopefully) have strong feelings connected to our beliefs. That's good. We're going to vocalize our disagreement and it's going to cause a lot of division. That's fine. I'm absolutely okay with that dynamic of reality. You can expect me to disagree with you, tell you that you're wrong, call you to repent and invite you to come under the reign of Christ Jesus.
You can also count on me to never do those things in a way that attempts to insult or humiliate you. I refuse to call you names that demean you. I may think you foolish but I recognize I am foolish as well. I accept our similarities and I want to invest in what we share because I believe love does that. I believe love is bold and stands up for what is true but I also think love can be bold while being kind and gentle. It may sound paradoxical but that's what I see in Jesus, whom I model my life after. I will always be more strict and raw in my communication with fellow Christians than with you. My aim with you (and really all nonChristians) is merely to love you and tell you the reason I love you is because of Jesus' love.
I won't post blogs, videos, or pictures that sarcastically deliver a backhanded virtual slap to you because I know there is a human being, a sibling by creation, behind that screen and that person is worthy of my love and I am in need of having a right relationship with that person. I may find you to be in wrong standing but I don't find you to be unworthy of love. I will not speak hate to you and I will apologize for those who do. I will not devote my time to trying to break apart your opinions unless you invite me to do so in healthy dialogue. I'll blog about Christian positions but I won't blog about how stupid atheists are (because even if I thought that was loving and morally acceptable most of the atheists I know are intelligent).
I know you may not all share the same commitment. Some of you may post things online that are attacking Christians and our beliefs. You may ridicule and demean us. You may try relentlessly to show us how wrong you think we are and you may do it without gentleness or kindness. It doesn't matter. I love you. I will keep aiming to love you. If I fall short, have moments of weakness, or prove myself still a hypocrite and sinner then I apologize. Other Christians may treat you poorly and I'm sorry for that as well. We may never end up understanding each other well but I hope you'll never think I don't love you. I don't want you to think it's more important to me that you like me than you repenting though. I want you to know that the most important thing in this world is to love God with your whole being and to love others as yourself. I'll never try to get you to do this in an unloving way. So yes, I think you're wrong and yes I ask you to repent and come under the love and reign of Jesus Christ but I also ask that you hear that as coming from a voice of love, gentleness, and kindness as opposed to a yelling and mocking voice of hate coming from a virtual megaphone.
You are created by God and loved by him. I love you too. Keep thinking. Keep debating. Keep fighting with us (please do it justly). That's how we learn. Peace be with you.
Do you feel like you need to apologize to people who disagree with you? When have you had a really interesting conversation with someone whose beliefs are not like yours? What did you learn?