A while back there was a very controversial amendment that had everyone really fired up. For about two weeks, social media was worse than the day after a Duke-Carolina game. Everyone was extremely passionate about it.
Days before the vote I found myself in a discussion with one of our church small groups. The subject was brought up and I listened as these ten or so Jesus following, Bible believing, & people loving Christians discussed the issue. I was encouraged as the group talked with passion and grace.
The next day I was filling in for another small group leader and wouldn’t you know the issue came up again! Just as I had the previous day, I listened as this group of Jesus following, Bible believing, & people loving Christians talked about the upcoming amendment. They, just like first group, were extremely passionate about their perspective.
I saw something amazing during those two conversations…
The first and second group each came to a unanimous answer to the question, “What should the Christian do when it’s time to vote?”. That one group of ten people can come to agreement on something like that is pretty remarkable (much less two groups), but that isn’t what amazed me the most.
Those two small groups fell on exact opposite sides of the issue.
Christians. Followers of Christ, who share not only a faith in God but also share a church home, disagreed completely with one another. One group felt like the Christian response was to vote “for” & the other felt like they should vote “against”. It wasn’t a case of one group being smarter or more Biblical. I was there! Each group spoke and supported their view with Scripture and logic. Although I found myself in disagreement with both groups application of Scripture (from time to time in the discussion), I could absolutely understand how they were making their decisions.
I love that those two groups of people disagreed.
I love that smart followers of Christ can land on both sides of an issue.
“The beginning of thought is in disagreement – not only with others but also with ourselves.” – Eric Hoffer
A few months ago I made a statement of a belief I’ve held since college. Someone around me pushed back and asked why I thought that way. After a few seconds of thinking it occurred to me that, although I gave the issue a lot of thought 10 years ago, I had simply stored it away in my belief system and forgotten about it. Although I’m not advocating a constant state of self-doubt, I think that this illustrates a natural tendency we all have to get very comfortable in our beliefs. This isn’t altogether a terrible thing unless I am unwilling to consider new and well thought out perspectives when they are presented to me.
God cares about what we think, but He also cares about how we think.
Those two groups of Christians were trying to figure out how to think about a political issue. One of those two groups may have come to a conclusion that was not what God would have wanted. It’s possible that both of those two groups were wrong. We won’t ever be 100% sure which, if either, was more pleasing to God in what they decided. What we do know is that how they decided was with Jesus in mind.
God is pleased with that.