I’m a rather simple person. That may come as a shock, but I tend the believe it’s true. I’m a lover of the black and white, the A or B, the cut and dry. The ambiguous grey area of life is not where I thrive. To me, things that are black or white make life more tolerable. I always hated my communication law class because they present the law as black and white, but it’s anything but. Every exception to the rule makes my heart rate increase.
If you think about it, the Bible is very black and white. Humans are either believers or not. You are a follower of Christ, or you’re not. There’s no grey.
I remember once in Bible class in high school, my teacher was talking about salvation and, in particular, salvation issues. So many times as Christians we debate each other and non-believers about Scripture and its black and whites. I don’t love fighting, especially when we’re supposed to show love. Remember how Jesus responded to the Pharisees in the New Testament? I think He often has the same response to us when we get in these petty fights.
I’ve adopted the mindset of not debating with others unless it is a salvation issue. Will a disagreement on this topic cause someone to not be saved? If it’s a yes, then we should definitely look at the issue and what the Word says. If someone believes that God will save us all in the end and doesn’t feel the need to accept Jesus as savior, that’s a salvation issue. In that case, I think it’s time to share the truth of Jesus. Admittedly, I’ve failed here many times in my life.
Often in the church, different denominations have different interpretations of scripture. Debating a word or passage in the Bible is not a salvation issue, unless, of course, the verse touches on salvation.
Yes, even Jesus got into heated discussions in His time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little tough love, but His tough love was directed towards the religious elite–not non-believers. I think that keeping the church accountable is extremely important, but I think we also hold non-believers to a standard that they can’t reach and neither can we. Christians, we are not perfect … Don’t try to argue with me here. Don’t even try to argue with me that we are BETTER than non-believers. We simply just are covered in holy blood from a perfect sacrifice sent to save us.
I understand that we want to know the apologetics and be able to defend our faith. Even I love learning all the ins and outs of the Bible (it is cool!!!). However, I worry we get too stuck in the weeds trying to win arguments for the kingdom rather than trying to win souls for the kingdom. The truth is, following Jesus is simple.
The great commission in Matthew 28:19 and 20 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
So what is required of believers is to make disciples, baptizing them and then teaching them to obey what Jesus commanded. Let’s look at one of Jesus’ commandments.
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37
Simple, right? We are to make disciples, baptize and teach new believers to love God with all their heart, soul and mind and love their neighbor as themselves. We are not to get in arguments with fellow believers and non-believers about things that (dare I say) aren’t all that important to God.
I truly believe our God cares more about the lost souls around the world than He does apologetics. This isn’t to say apologetics are bad, they just have a distinct place. But, I would hate for us to get so wrapped up in the details that we miss out on meeting basic needs that unbelievers have. I think sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to show Christ’s love to others.
Things like buying a meal, doing a favor, being a listening ear or a smiling face are ways to open the door so that Christ can work in someone’s life. Get off of Facebook comments and stop using “you’re wrong” as an argument towards non-believers. This is not only a simple solution, but it’s a black and white one. Friends, we are called to love God and love our neighbors. If you ever find the verse that encourages us to prove non-believers wrong, please send it my way. But until then, let’s lead others in love and not in fear. Let’s be excited that not all Christians look alike, and be urgent in our quest to live a life like Christ. Let’s love because that’s what He has commanded and sometimes it’s all we can do. “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 Like what you see? I would love if you would share this post on Facebook, follow my Instagram account and pin this post on Pinterest by using the icons below! I would love to say thanks, so tag me on all platforms using @hollyhoehner.
Holly Hoehner has her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.