February 15, 2006

One Way, Many Views

Here is a great article from Christianity Today about inter-faith dialogue: One Way, Many Views - Christianity Today Magazine.

I have said it before and I will say it again. One of the biggest ways Christians can demonstrate "love your neighbor" is in their relationships with people of other faiths and other sexual orientations.

This is not easy. And, we should certainly forget that "love the sinner hate the sit" stuff. I mean, really, have we ever been able to love the sinner and hate the sin. How about we just love the sinner. We are human; we get the two confused.

I like this article because it demonstrates the troublesome nature of coming to terms with this issue. I found myself somewhere between the first pastor and the second. I believe we demonstrate our love for our neighbors by listening to them and dialogueing with them. We learn from then when we learn about their beliefs and value them as people. I like what was said about the exclusiveness of the relationship with God cause him to be inclusive of others.

But I am also evangelistic. I believe that Jesus is the way. I believe that people are held accountable for what they do with the message and person of Jesus Christ.

In saying that, I don't know if a person who obeys Jesus' commands but doesn't accept Jesus the person (or the Christian faith for that matter) is any worse off than someone who accepts the person of Jesus (or, again, the Christian faith) but does not obey the commands.

1 comment:

  1. Jesus loves transvestites, and if he were here today he would spend time with them, getting to know them and sharing life with them. As Christians, being Christ-like, we ought to do the same.
    --Mention that in an adult Sunday School class made up of 60+ yr old white conservatives and see how fast they form a new pulpit search committee...
    We have, like the pharisees, built fences around God's Law (cf I Cor 9:19ff).
    As a fairly modern pastor, serving in an extremely conservative church, my desire is tear out the fences we have built, which isolate us from others (other faiths, sexuality, whatever we consider taboo...).
    The troubling aspect is, in the article, each of the 3 pastors, presumably, would agree that Jesus is the only way -- but their method in reaching those who do not know Jesus differs. I would say that each one is OK. We all have our own abilities to interact on different levels. Jesus, during his ministry on earth never met with the emperor or Rome. Why? Because the Emperor of Rome was not next door to Jesus. We cannot, literally, be all things to all people, because we cannot physically be available to all people -- to those we have audience with, we must be all things to them -- we must meet them with Christ's Law -- not denominational or traditional law (I would define Christ's law as Love God, love others ref:Bible).
    Of course, we cannot use the excuse that: "no transvestite ever walked into my church" to not minister to transvestites. Jesus did not just hang out in church. Bars, brothels, and other seedy places were where you could find Jesus. We must walk outside of the buildings we treat as so holy and actually minister to our communities. I think if people ever figured that out, that ministry should occur primarily outside the church and with people who don't look/talk/sound/smell just like us, not just inside it with people who are similar to us, then the kingdom would be expanding much more quickly.
    Oh well, I don't mean to rant on your blog (that is why I have my own). I hope may people are reading your blogs. We must discuss, and challenge one another...

    PS -- I am not trying to single out transvestites -- people are people and we are all made in God's image. I use this as it is, undoubtably, a polarizing lifestyle and the cause of much persecution.