Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Posted on July 18, 2011 by

After fours years authoring a blog specifically geared to Protestants, I’m having a grand time over here sharing the spotlight with a mixed breed of Christians: Catholics, Orthodox, and yes, Protestants. Four years ago I would never have entertained the notion of joining forces with these people. But something has happened these past few years:

I have a growing distaste for people who believe the only other Christians bound for heaven are the ones who do and see everything in Scripture exactly the same way as they do and see it.There is nothing in the Bible to support that way of thinking and I don’t want to play that game anymore.

I haven’t changed what I believe as a Protestant. You won’t find me heading into a confessional or sitting through an Orthodox Mass anytime soon. I’ve simply decided to do away with the notion that I, in my finite and limited wisdom, have total access to the mind and intentions of God to the exclusion of all others who don’t interpret the Bible exactly as I do.

The Scriptural criteria for what makes one a Believer is actually very straightforward. The Bible’s description of grace is so wide and so encompassing that I marvel at the number of believers who feel perfectly at ease resigning large segments of the Church false or irredeemable. Catholics and Protestants alike are guilty of this one. We reformed Protestants, however, are often the worst of the bunch and I don’t think we exemplify the spirit or unity of Christ when we declare that we have all the answers, are the chosen few, and slam the door in the face of others doing their best to honor God, follow Christ, and love people.

The only group in the church I’ve ever heard that doesn’t routinely write off other believers as nonbelievers regardless of profession are Orthodox believers. Of course, I’ve only met a couple. Perhaps I praise them in haste.

I should qualify the preceding statements by pointing out that professions of Christian faith absent a lifestyle that resembles Scriptural guidelines for piety in any way is not what I’m referring to. For example, when music artists win awards for songs that glorify violence, drugs, and illicit sex (and live lifestyles glorifying the same) get up on stage and claim to thank “their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” for helping them win their award. The fruit on our trees matters and I’m not claiming that it doesn’t.

However, all things being equal, agreement on God and His nature, His Son and the substitutionary atonement, and the role of grace in the work of salvation should be enough to get believers of all stripes to sit at the same table, whatever else we may disagree on. It is in this spirit of unity that I gladly join hands with believers who share my love of family, time-tested values, and the importance our responsibility to be salt and light in the world and the culture to make a difference. Of course, this world is not all there is, which is exactly why we need to be about our Father’s business while we’re here rather than pointing the finger at one another and bickering about who’s “really saved” and who’s not.

That isn’t for us to decide. Our job is to love one another,evangelize, join hands around our common core beliefs, and leave a legacy of godliness for our children to pass on.

We can’t do that, though, if we refuse to get along. Thankfully, we’ve taken a first step right here at Traditional Christianity.

Posted in: Religion