by Jim Gordon
Have you noticed how often people get offended and feel they need to prove their point on so many topics and online posts: It usually does not go well once that starts, especially when it comes to spiritual and biblical topics.
We fail to realize that not everyone has the same interpretation as another. We also fail to realize the fact that we cannot prove most of what we believe.
We can fight and argue between christian and atheist, one christian denomination and another, among Jewish, Christian, Islam and a host of other religions. We can argue about whether there is or there is not a God, is there a hell or not, what this verse means or what that verse means. We get mad and defensive when someone goes against what we believe and do our best to prove our view is right.
Thing is, we cannot prove our point. We cannot prove God exists, we cannot prove there is a heaven or a hell, we cannot prove any other aspect of the spiritual existence. This life is a life of faith and belief. As christians, we have faith that God is there and he loves us. We have faith in the guidance of the Spirit within us.
On the other hand, no one can prove there is not a God, there is not a heaven, or there is not a hell. Yet we will fight and argue until we almost hate each other trying to prove our way of thinking.
We do not have to fight and argue to defend God. Rather than making ourselves look like mean, hateful people who have to be right, we should be showing the love of God to everyone. Show that love to those who agree with us and also to those who are a hundred percent sure in their minds that we are wrong.
To be sure, we cannot have this kind of love and acceptance in our own strength. God says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and it is God’s love that flows out of us. Only through the strength of the Spirit can love those who live differently, who think differently, those who want nothing to do with God and those who may be our enemies.
We can have our own way of thinking, our own beliefs and interpretations, knowing that God created each of us differently. Yet we need to remember we are not right on everything, and for sure we are not always going to agree with one another. We can all learn something by listening and communicating with others.
We all have a right to believe what and how we want to believe. People can put their faith in God or not. We can have completely different lifestyles. We can have a completely different interpretation on bible verses or we can completely reject the bible and not believe anything about it, and it is OK. Jesus did not tell us to judge and condemn others for what they believe. He did not say to force our views and beliefs on others, but He did say to love one another.
We are not called to make people believe like us, or believe in God at all. We are called to go into the world and live the gospel message that God loves and accepts us. Jesus came to restore fellowship between humanity and God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to love and accept others just as they are.
We can have our individual beliefs and interpretations, and we do not have to agree with everyone. Love and acceptance do not mean agreement. We can love and accept others just because they are loved by God. We were all created in His image. We can have our differences and still accept and care for those God brings into our lives each day.
Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: email@example.com