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Thu Aug 14, 2014
by Kimm Crandall
Seven ways for Christians to love their neighbors even when we disagree
Yesterday, Fox News published an article I wrote to help Christians understand seven ways to love your neighbor even if you disagree with them, particularly when it comes to gay marriage.
One of the things I’ve learned in preaching through the Ten Commandments is that people who don’t want to deal with their sin put everything into a political category in order to avoid the conversation.
God owns it all
But the truth is, God reigns over every inch of life. He created it. Everything is theological; some things have political implications. For example, God said, “You shall not murder” (Exod. 20:13). That includes babies, so we have to talk about abortion. God said, “You shall not steal” (Exod. 20:15). That applies to governments and businesses as well as individuals, so we have to talk about taxes and business ethics.
Jesus said, “‘A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6). That means we have to talk about marriage.
Who will we follow?
Our goal as Christians is not political; our goal is biblical. Increasingly, however, our government and our society are at odds with the Bible, which forces us to decide: will we follow the Spirit of God, or the spirit of the age?
We see this question play out in numerous ways, and I wrote a whole book to help Christians faithfully navigate the new post-Christian narrative that no longer casts us as the heroes but as the villains. Nowhere is this clearer than when it comes to gay marriage.
When conversations drift towards homosexuality, gay marriage, and gender identity—as almost every conversation these days seems to do—most Christians either retreat in fear or charge ahead and get destroyed.
I hope my list of 7 ways for Christians to love their neighbors even when we disagree offers a more helpful strategy, but we cannot follow Jesus and avoid criticism, ostracism, and opposition. When it feels like you’re on the wrong side of history, remember that the story isn’t over yet, and you can trust the One who already wrote the ending.