please stand up (or, why christians shouldn’t stand up for their beliefs)

Someone just said to me, “I find it challenging to stand up for my [Christian] beliefs and still love others who don’t believe the same things.”

I ask you:

What do you mean by “standing up” for your beliefs?  And is your definition a Biblical one? Because as far as I can tell, Jesus didn’t tell you to legislate your beliefs. He didn’t tell you to call other people out on their unbelief, unless it is a person close to you and is a member of the Church. He didn’t ask you to judge someone’s sin or even get involved in his or her life. He told you to spread His words, His message. He told you to turn the other cheek, and give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and take care of the ‘least of these,’ and show kindness/humility/compassion to those who do not follow the God you follow. He asked you to intercede for them – in fact, he gave you the Holy Spirit so that you can intercede for them.

So spread His message in the way he asked. Share your experiences. Preach the Gospel in your church and in the streets, if you like. Tell everyone what He has done for you.

But don’t preach it from the seats of government. Jesus never told you to do that.

Don’t berate others for their own beliefs, no matter how far from yours they might stray. Jesus never told you to do that.

Don’t argue with strangers on the internet, or share memes designed to put down those who are different than you, or make statuses about those same people, even as a “joke.” And most certainly don’t turn those people away when they come to you for help, or mercy, or love.

“Share if you believe” doesn’t help anyone. The Bible says to offer your time and your money, and it doesn’t specify that the receivers have to believe what you believe.

Jesus hung out with the people no one liked and he offered them a better way without ever putting them down for the life they had been living.

Try it sometime.

Stand up and do something with your time, your money, your love. Your beliefs should be just fine standing on their own.

 

(Helpful Bible verses for reference categorized in the book “What Did Jesus Say?” by Diane Bay.)

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