I’ve been visiting some friends in Melbourne over the past few days, and they tell me that people here are highly opiniated. Everyone has something to say about everything, from what you believe, to what you cook, to how you do certain things (like taking out the trash). I was initially appalled, but it hit me – aren’t we all like that, even in church, especially in the church?
We all think that we matter. We all think we’re right. But truth is, there are things worth discussing (aka debating or arguing) in great detail, and there are things that aren’t. Things like doctrine that is fundamental to our faith. No two ways about that. We have sinned because we refused to acknowledge God’s authority over us. We ignored him because it was just more convenient to do so, and we believed more in ourselves. But God didn’t give up on having a relationship with us. His Son Jesus died on the cross for us, paying the price for us turning our backs on God. And he rose on the third day and is now in heaven. And because of that, those who trust that what Jesus did is necessary and enough to get right with God, are now seen as having a whole relationship with God.
But things like whether water baptism is by sprinkling or by immersion? Whether there’re guitars and drums or just a piano and organ? Neither is going to affect our salvation. Doesn’t matter if we sing on Sundays to drums and guitars, while our friends sing with just a piano accompaniment. We still worship the same God. What’s more important then is love. That is the outward sign of our inward conviction. As John recorded in John 13:35, Jesus said that “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So, let us love.