Jun 28

Peace with all men

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Romans 12:18


I want to get along with everybody. If you know me in person, you would probably agree that I am generally easy-going and not easily angered. If I think that I might have said something or done something that might have hurt someone’s feelings, I will obsess over it until I have an opportunity to talk to that person and apologize or clear up any misunderstandings. Often the other party didn’t even give the incident a second thought. I just cannot stand the feeling of conflict, or the feeling that someone out there and I are not on good terms.


Maybe I struggle a little bit with people-pleasing, but it hasn’t really been an issue. I enjoy being at peace with everyone. It is comfortable and it doesn’t cause any stress.


Now I am afraid my days of being at peace with all men may be coming to an end. Because I see a time coming in our country, in my lifetime, when simply respectfully disagreeing with the majority opinion will be viewed as unkind, intolerant, or judgmental.


Obviously everyone right now is talking about same-sex marriage. With all of my fleshly being, I would love to let everyone marry whoever they want, and let everyone find their own path to happiness. However, my beliefs are not based on how I feel, but rather on what my faith teaches me. Several years ago I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Savior. He says there is only one path that leads to life. He says that marriage is between a man and a woman. He says marriage is a picture of the Church’s relationship to Himself.


Even now, having an opinion such as mine can cause one to be labeled a hypocrite, judgmental, intolerant, or to be compared to a racist. Will it get easier? Will my conservative opinions become widely accepted across America once again? Will society become more “tolerant” of those of us who they think are so “intolerant”? No, it is unrealistic to think so. More likely, I will face greater levels of marginalization and ridicule.


People might not like me.


And…if I don’t face those attitudes…then it’s likely because I’ve insulated myself to such a degree that I am around only those whose opinions are the same as my own!


Jesus Christ did hang out with sinners. (He really couldn’t help it; everyone is a sinner.) But, yes, He went to sinners–and told them to follow Him. If I am to follow His example, I can’t go along with popular-yet-un-Biblical opinions, ensuring that I can continue to please everyone–and I can’t isolate myself in my little evangelical Christian community where everyone  agrees with me, either.


Following Christ gives me a single hard option–Go into the world, and make disciples. Go and tell people who don’t think they need a Savior that they do, in fact, need to repent. Then tell them about the grace of God that goes deeper than any sin.


Because the truth is that love does win. Love won 2000 years ago on a cross, and love wins each time someone repents and turns to Christ.


The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Revelation 22:17

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1 comment

  1. JMN

    Good post, Audra. You wrote “Jesus hung out with sinners” and we could take it even further: He was a FRIEND of sinners.

    The class that Jesus struggled with and rebuked out again and again were the philosophical religious class of his day, those who twisted theology and philosophy brought people into bondage by demanding them to conform to their belief system. The decision by the Supreme Court redefining marriage is a religious/philosophical power play by modern day Sadducees designed to take religious freedom away from all the people.

    I think Jesus would have spoken out against them now like he did then, while still focusing on advancing the kingdom by exposing the lies of darkness and disarming the enemy’s power one person at a time. He is still a Friend of sinners (POW’s), and our struggle as the Church is not (and should never be) with flesh and blood, but with spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph.6:12).

    “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” 2 Cor. 10:3-6 MSG)

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