no lover of controversy

I would like to lay low, steer clear of any fights, and just share the good news of Jesus in life and word, and let it go at that. I am no lover of controversy. But it seems that if you take any kind of stand at all, or believe anything, sooner or later you either are silent, or you are controversial, and into controversy. Although maybe we just go on, that the matter at hand is only part of what we are about. Yet sooner or later we’ll either answer challenges and criticisms, or we’ll let them go.

I don’t believe in the death penalty for today, I think global warming caused largely by carbon emissions from humans is a given, as is evolution over hundreds of millions of years. I think God in Jesus calls Christians to not serve in the military–to not take a life under any circumstances. I think America was founded on a premise on which Christians cannot live except on a certain citizenry level, since we’re to follow Jesus and his words as in the Sermon on the Mount. I think “left behind” theology is a disaster.  And more. And I think all of these are important in their place and time.

I share that last paragraph with some hesitation, because I think those things matter, but in another way none of that is at the heart of the reality in which we are to live in Jesus. Christians can disagree on them, and yet the reality in which we live in Jesus helps us to love each other, and to give and receive. The kingdom of God in Jesus from Jesus’ death and resurrection–that grace trumps all our differences. And helps us along the way. So that we end up learning from each other by the Spirit. God includes all of us, his children in his work, in and through us in Jesus.

While we’re not going to escape controversy, it is required that we do all things in love. That we listen well. And be open to where we may be wrong, or where our position on a matter needs to be refined. That we hold as first priority that we love God and each other, no matter what our differences. That will require effort, but more than that it requires the grace and work of God. But it is part of our walk of faith in this life. That we will learn to love each other in spite of differences and things we may not like. Knowing that indeed is a two way street. And that we may grow in that love, so that our lives may be characterized by this love of God in Jesus. As we seek to follow the way of Jesus together, in and for this world.