I've been doing a lot of reading lately (my wife seriously asked me "when did we switch places?" as she is typically the one with a book in her hand) and my head is absolutely left spinning as to the sheer number of times I've heard someone completely call another person's faith in Jesus (and even their salvation) into question based on what they have heard or what they assume of another person.
I've heard more strong opinions lately than I would normally care to hear in one lifetime, but I can't help but wonder what drives this stuff. He/she said "this" so they must believe "this" which makes them Satan. And that's not even an exaggeration.
This tends to be an argument/accusation that is primarily floating around blogs and books dealing with the emerging church its leaders. People are being so quick to jump to a conclusion based on what they hear from one or two individuals, who may not even necessarily be representative of a larger group. But then what happens? Anyone who decides to agree with even a portion of what those original two said gets clumped into the category of "heretic" as well.
Today I was reading Paul's letter to the Corinthians. His words, not mine:
Now let's talk about food that has been sacrificed to idols. You think that everyone should agree with your perfect knowledge. While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)I think that sums it up so nicely. So many of these conversations end with accusations and labels and there's no sign of love anywhere in them. It's usually a case of one person deciding they know it all and therefore they should let it rip at the person who obviously doesn't know it all.
I don't care if the person beside you is the biggest bonehead on the face of the planet and is completely out of touch with 90% of reality, you are still called to love them. Sure they may need some outside input, but where are we told that we have the right to do that without love?
If people in general could just stop their yapping for a minute and ponder the fact that they just might not know it all, I think the silence would be deafening.
I don't have my faith all figured out. I've got a long journey ahead of me. But if I for one second become one of the people that claims to have all the answers, or I begin to act like I do, can one of you please give me a punch in the head?