Ponder A Little (Blog)
|Posted on September 16, 2018 at 7:45 PM|
I recently read the book, “Jesus Outside The Lines”, which gave me a fresh perspective of Jesus and how he related to the culture of His day that was strongly opposed to His message. Jesus did very well at what I and many Christians today find so very difficult.
Daniel Darling said, “A certain ugliness accompanies the way evangelicals often do cultural engagement. It is a gospel-free, score-keeping partisanship long on fear and short on hope.”
Modern society with multiplying and widening cultural divides can be disheartening for the evangelical Christian. How do we introduce the gospel in such an anti-Christ environment? It seems difficult at times to co-exist in a world that sometimes opposes the core of our being so strongly.
So, as Christians we sometimes choose to seek safety in our little cocoon of Christian fellowship. But is this what Jesus did? Reading our Bibles, we learn that Jesus made a habit of socializing with the unbelievers and the sinners. His words and actions are full of love, not divisiveness.
Even within Christian circles, opposing views on politics, money, the poor and worship are held, and divide us as believers. Division was never the way of Christ. Jesus led with compassion. It is, indeed, possible for two Christians to hold opposing views on a topic without either of them compromising their faith.
In his book, “Jesus Outside The Lines”, Pastor Scott Sauls addresses these ongoing conflicts of our modern day, resulting from people choosing sides. Sauls asks, “Is it possible to profoundly disagree with someone and love that person deeply at the same time? Is it possible to hold convictions and simultaneously embrace those who reject your deep convictions?”
His answer in the book, is an overwhelming, Yes! He encourages the believer to, without compromising his faith, try to understand the thoughts of those with differing views to establish healthy communication. He encourages compassionate dialogue, not critical. Sauls uses countless Scripture to present his conclusion that we can, in fact, lovingly co-exist in a society full of people with opposing views. After all, that is exactly what Jesus did.
Sauls, courageously and compassionately challenges even difficult subjects in his book, like sexual ethics and the reality of hell. There is no Christian compromise in this book, only Christ-like compassion!
Christian Ethicist, Andrew Spencer says, “This book represents the beginning of a deep conversation that needs to happen in the gospel community whose ideas are increasingly demonized.”
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for any Christian who chooses to be more and more Christ-like in their everyday interactions with both believers and non-believers that Jesus deeply loves.
Categories: Questions That Need Answers