Every day it seems what Paul wrote so many years ago is still so true, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32, ESV) It is amazing to me some of the things I read and see that just catch me off guard as I seem more out of touch with many views that I see from those who, how can I best say this, believe differently. Never before had I felt this in my life. I have tried to understand views with which I don’t agree, but with it seems that many changes are coming more quickly than I can keep up. Now many of the changing views that I see are not as prevalent where I live and serve, but it highlights the depth of the divide that seems to be only growing deeper within our world. The thing about much of this, however, is that it reminds me of a greater need to pray.
As Christians, we are called to be unified in Christ first and foremost. How that looks is often difficult. One of the things that I have been most convicted of in this exploration is coming to terms with areas in which my witness has been less than desirable. I know that I am a person that carries strong views and have never been afraid to share them. Honestly, I love discussing things with people that hold different views than I hold. That has continually become more difficult, which saddens me. I, also, have been more open to sharing my views in posts on Social Media in the past. Not that I haven’t engaged recently, but my engagement has become less and less as I just don’t desire to have it devolve into something less of engagement and more of a fight. The chasm is deepening not only between Christian and non-Christian but even among the various Christian groups, it is becoming deeper.
There are a great many terms that are out there to describe each group, but the terms I feel may be helpful are traditional versus progressive. Now, this is an oversimplification because even within each of these groups there are differing views. Ultimately, for Christians, it begins with what level of authority one gives Scripture and that authority centers mostly on how one read the Word of God. Again, this is an oversimplification. Why do I say that? Because of a varying view of how one defines “authority.” As I unravel this thread, I find that I am made all the more keenly aware of the complicated nature of how to discuss this. If I say that we are to read the Word of God, plainly, many will interpret that as meaning “literally.” This is not the same thing. Traditionally, a plain reading of Scripture would “as it is written.” This does not make it any easier as there are those that will parse it further in order to make a case in which one could say that each view holds the authority of Scripture equally though different.
So, here it becomes difficult.
How does one minister in these new waters?
How can we find reconciliation?
As I write this my heart is aching because I can’t give any definitive answers, but prayer. In prayer, I seek to find answers that will drive action. But like the apostles were told by Jesus, I wait. I am sure that the disciples, right after the resurrection, were itching to get out and do something. That is why Jesus said, “Wait.” Waiting is not necessarily inaction, but a time to see it all laid out and giving time for a full revelation. This is my journey now, as I wait. I do believe that God is at work and there is a reason for this heaviness on my heart. So, for those of you that read this, I have one request. Before you respond, pray. Pray with me, pray for me, and wait.