I’m Absolutely Certain…

…but I might be wrong.

Last week I wrote about preaching and politics. Several folks asked, in comments and emails, if I’m claiming Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics.

As more than one person correctly observed, following Jesus impacts every aspect of a disciple’s life. Of course we ought to be responsible citizens, and of course biblical principles ought to inform and guide our actions and choices.

The question isn’t whether we should engage in politics. The question is: How?

And “How?” brings me back to yesterday’s thoughts about Best Intentions and our pastor’s assertion: Bad things are often done by people who think they’re doing the right thing.

I don’t want to be one of those people.

I know smart, wise, highly-educated, passionate followers of Jesus who disagree about the proper biblical position on even the most difficult, highly-charged public policy issues. I’ve watched Christians—who absolutely believe in their position—become arrogant, condescending, judgmental, and sometimes downright abusive toward those who reach different conclusions.

I’m pretty sure that’s not what Jesus wants.

I believe it’s possible for two people engaged in a sincere, prayerful search for scriptural truth to advocate different responses to the difficult problems of a broken world. Each has the right to believe passionately in his position and the civic responsibility to support it.

But each has a greater responsibility to value principle above passion. A wrong choice, pursued with total passion and conviction for all the right reasons, is still wrong.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

It’s not my job to be right at any cost. It’s not even my job to be right.

It’s my primary responsibility to love others in the name of Jesus, not so they will see I am right, but so they will see He is loving. (thanks Don Miller)

Personally, I don’t feel comfortable speaking for Jesus on potentially divisive issues. I don’t want to be like the disciples in Mark 10:13-14, so certain they were helping Jesus that they actually offended Him.

I don’t want to offend Jesus by being so certain I’m right that I actually do what’s wrong.

in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas

In Essentials, Unity –In Non-Essentials, Liberty –In All Things, Charity

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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