Thursday, December 14, 2006

Agree to Disagree?

Has Christianity gone wrong? Are Christians sharing their heart or what is on their mind? I just read an interesting commentary by Jay Bakker, minister of Revolution Church (and son of former Praise The Lord leaders Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner) and Marc Brown, a Revolution staff member. Here’s a link to the article: "What the hell happened to Christianity?" Here are my thoughts on their commentary.
I do believe that the conservative movement can turn people away from Christ. Most people are not drawn to religion when it pushes rules or moral standards. We are free in Christ- not bound by rules. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
I also believe that people should not politicize Christianity. Christians are not democratic or republican. I have found a stereotype exists that if you are a Christian then you are a conservative. That isn’t always true, whether it be on moral grounds or government (state control vs. national control). It certainly isn’t so that if you are a conservative you are a Christian. Why would anyone presume that all Christians would take a conservative view?
I struggle to see the validity of the suggestion that Christians should agree to disagree on issues. I do believe that no one makes progress on issues by being hostile. There is a fundamental error with the suggestion to agree to disagree. Who determines which issues are ethically right or wrong? The authors assume that there are some issues that are morally debatable. This assumes there are no ultimate moral standards or that some we have defined as a society as absolute and some we haven’t. No one disagrees that rape and child molestation are abhorrent. Murder seems simple and most Murderers are punished but what about euthanasia? What about abortion?
Bakker and Brown suggest, “Christians should look past their differences and agree to disagree.” I’d suggest, Christians should look past their differences and agree to read their Bible. If they disagree on the Biblical principles or on how to apply them to daily life, then they should pray. Pray apart or pray together. We are called to love each other. We are called to be patient and kind. We are told to not be rude or proud. We can and should love people that do not believe what we believe. However, we are not called to accept opinions that contradict the Bible. As Christians we are called to pray. We should not choose complacency over hostility, we should choose prayer.