Over the years we have seen a number of cultural/political/religious issues attached to the Gospel message to help us identify someone as in or out of the christian club. These issues pit person against person, church against church. Bothers and sisters in Christ minimizing and demonizing those that do not agree or believe exactly the same way. Here they are in no particular order. Have you or I used these to label a someone a believer or a heretic?
Republican or Democrat.
Pro-Life or Pro-choice
KJV or modern version
Protestant or Catholic
Liberal/Progressive or Conservative/Fundamentalist
Pro-gun control or anti-gun control
Pro-Israel or Pro-human rights for all in Palestine
Pro-capital punishment or Pro-Life without parole
Pro-marriage equality or Pro-“traditional” marriage.
These are just a few that come to mind at the moment.Now there are many discussions that can take place among these groups, and there will be heated disagreement from time to time. But NONE OF THESE is a litmus test to a person’s relationship with God. There is one thing and one thing only that determines that. It is the only litmus test and we had better not deviate from it, for when we do we preach “another gospel” and not the Gospel of unconditional love and grace. Here it is…
Does a person have a relationship with Jesus? If they say that they do, then we cannot assume otherwise. We are just to love them.
We will never prove Jesus is from God if we continue to divide ourselves over issues that may have more than one answer. We are not omniscient. Only God is. We are commanded to love one another.
Love covers a multitude of sins, and love never fails.
11 thoughts on “Litmus Test….”
Now if only the amorphous phrase “Have a relationship with Jesus” could be broadened to include a evening love of the stars. 🙂
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Clearly love does not delight in evil…so what do you say concerning the Christians that secretly delighted in the following…where was their love or were they just being truthful.
Rejoicing in AIDS as a judgment of God against the gay community.
Smugly pronouncing that the Indonesians that died in the tsunami, the Haitians that died in the earthquake, the citizens that perished in hurricane Katrina, the Japanese that died in the earthquake and following tsunami,died as a result of their wickedness and unbelief.
Proclaiming that 9/11 was God’s judgement of America because of the homosexuals and the feminist and liberals running around the country.
How about a “Christian” commentator at AFA stating that the genocide by the Europeans against the Native Americans was not so bad.
Or the Salem witch trials in which hundred were murdered in the name of religion.
i want to go on, but I will stop.
I am sick to death of Christians who, when you mention loving others, trot out the “truth” to back up their prejudice, bigotry. and arrogance.
Loving unconditionally means…loving without condition. It is what we are called to do. So before we run around telling others how evil they are and that God is going to get them,. we had better first repent, REPENT of our lack of grace and love to those in the world around us.
I am very angry right now.
Mark, I quoted a Bible verse with zero words of my own. That verse caused you to transform me into Pat Robertson and you into the guy you pictured in the post. I’m pretty sure neither of us likes those associations. In fact, I’m certain I don’t.
Mike, your quote is rather meaningless unless you explain it. Would you care to explain yourself?
Mark probably got upset for the same reason your mindless quote upsets me when I read it: Bible quoting with no personal response is a typical way far too many Christians choose to interact publically these days. It is not helpful. And 99% of the time it means you completely disagree with what you read and are condemning the person who wrote it.
Mark’s reply is vastly more helpful. Maybe you could share your thoughts more clearly without Bible verses?
Thank you Brian.You are correct, using Scripture to justify hatred or lack of empathy get me a little upset. Thanks for commenting.
why does “love does not delight in evil” manifest itself in our culture as Christians pointing their fingers at others, pointing out sin and sounding so angry?
Why doesn’t “love does not delight in evil” manifest itself in our tears and weeping for those who are hurting because they are broken?
I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog, I’ve been trying to live this way, in love, not judgement. The Bible commands us to love one another, and in Corinthians, it is quite clear what love means,
Thanks for reading and commenting, I hope that what you read here may encourage and help you. Peace to you.
“Does a person have a relationship with Jesus? If they say that they do, then we cannot assume otherwise. We are just to love them.” Whoa, hold the phone there!
If they have a relationship with Jesus, they are our kin. But we are supposed to love more than just our brethren, we are to love strangers, even enemies. That is the litmus test–“… let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
Thanks for reading and I do not disagree. That is somewhat the point of this post. There are some that refuse to love, and will never call some Christians their brothers or sisters because they disagree with them over some social or doctrinal issue.
I have been called many things from “Christians” including an enemy of Christ because of my views didn’t line up with this persons narrow view.