“Opinions are like . . . everybody has one.” That’s how that saying goes, isn’t it? Truth be told, we could re-phrase it to be “opinions are like fingers and toes, everybody has twenty” and we still wouldn’t be accurate. The number of opinions most of us throw around are a multiple of our digits, not limited to the constraints of anatomy.
Not only do we have a bunch of things to say about things we know very little about, we presume a right to be heard. Not only a right to be heard, but a responsibility to be vocal. “I had to tell them how I feel about that.” No, you didn’t.
The worst offenders might be the American Christian (a tribe to which I belong). We are all too often motivated by our self-righteousness into condemning judgments that may or may not have any foundation in Truth. The arrogance of espousing opinions which have no eternal basis is so not-Christ-like that the offense is against Him more than it is against the target of judgment.
Social issues like gay marriage, immigration, welfare and many others draw the church going suburbanite into the trap of declaration. Declaration against something which is typically actually a declaration against some group or someone. The declaration is followed closely by “hate the sin, love the sinner,” which is not in the Bible.
The damage to the intention of sharing God’s point of view is incredible. The very groups that we wish to convince are repelled. The legalistic debate is a scheme meant to draw us into accusation and alienation, and it works just about every time. Yet, we go diving back in at every turn, pointing fingers and calling names in the name of the Lord.
Here are the rules: love God and love people. That’s it. That’s all. Not complicated and not at all compromising.
If we focus on those just that as we engage society, the issues we find in society will eventually be Healed. Love is received from God, through Grace, and the recognition of that Grace is our own lives leaves us with humility, not arrogance. It leaves us in a condition of forgiving, not condemning. The result is inviting, not repulsive.
Truth is eternal and fixed. It doesn’t move and it isn’t confusing. One small step away from the Truth of Love puts us in the confusing intricacies of temporal issues which are difficult and complex. Don’t take the bait.