Earlier this week the local school board met to discuss how to handle the upcoming start of the school year. Should kids be back in the building? If so, should they wear masks. By the way, I’m writing this during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, before a vaccine has been developed, and to date 150,000 people in the USA have died from the virus. Numerous people shared strong opinions about the situation, and ultimately the school board voted to send the kids back to school, along with online options for families who preferred that. We’re wrestling with similar issues in the church. Maybe your church family has felt the struggle of what to do. It seems that no matter what a organization decides, they will upset someone. So what do we do?
When it comes to potential disagreements in a church family about current events, as we have seen through the “One Anothers” in our blog series (starting here), we first and foremost love one another.
Ask yourself, as people in your church family have differing viewpoints on current events, are you loving one another? When it comes to current events, we can become enticed by the powerful forces at work in our culture, so that the abundantly clear biblical teaching of loving one another can fade in hearts and minds.
Think about the events of our society in 2020 and how impassioned we can be about them. The big three in 2020 are coronavirus, racial justice and the election. What do you use to evaluate how you will respond to these major issues?
The news media? Or “love one another”?
A political perspective? Or “love one another”?
Christians, we are members of church families comprised of individuals who must be known as people who “love each other” in all those “one another ways” we just read.
Therefore, it is okay if we have differences of opinion on many other matters. But when we differ, do so in a way that the other person has no doubt that you love them. It is possible to love one another and disagree with one another.
People of different skin colors, of different sexual orientations, of different genders, of different nationalities, of different political persuasions, and of different theological views, all can love one another, together, in the same church family. That loving unity in diversity is the heart of the “One Anothers” that we, church, should demonstrate in our relationships in our church families.
Sadly, we see many examples in our nation of people who believe that the ultimate test of their humanity is to have strong individual beliefs and an unwillingness to invite any discussion or examination of those beliefs. It is either their way or no other way. And that is directly opposed to a “love one another” expression of discipleship to Jesus.
And thus it seems appropriate to close with this last “One Another”: 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”