Healthcare, School Bonds and Calvinists

I hate politics, I hate conflict… it just bugs me. The attitude of many people, that if you don’t believe down to the point what they believe you are completely wrong, drives me nuts. Whether it be church, politics, or life, the reason tolerance is a growing virtue is because people care more for secondary ideals than their common man.
Let me illustrate.  This past week, I was sitting enjoying lunch with my family when a political volunteer stopped by house. In Duncan we are wading through a school bond which is aimed to build a new elementary school. The volunteer placed in my hand a document that showed how a vote for the school bond would bring about the destruction of Duncan and probably the coming of the antichrist. He grabbed my ear for a little bit and told me why he believed what he did, and I responded. I asked him a few questions (ones that probably should be asked to both sides), and the conversation turned where I became an enemy and we no longer had common ground.

The truth is, we do have common ground — my visitor friend and I both care deeply for our community. We both want what is best for the future of Duncan. The issue in Duncan is that one is either for a school bond, or against it, and there is no room to meet in the middle to discuss what’s best for our kids and for our community.

Here’s another example.  I read on a Southern Baptist Blog about a group of men who have decided to smoke out all Calvinist pastors. They are moving from church to church trying to show the dangers of reformed theology. They have put together a set of documents intended to out pastors from the reformed closet and by doing so have painted a caricature of him.

We as Southern Baptists have worked together with both Calvinists and Armenians to do the great commission of God. We have worked together in building the largest mission sending organization the world has ever seen. Here in Duncan, I have friends that are Baptist pastors who would gladly hold to a reformed theology and care about the lost of Duncan. I have friends in town that hold to a non Calvinistic view point and care about the lost. Here’s the truth: we are all on the same team. Together both Calvinistic friends and non Calvinistic friends are working together as an association to do greater things than our churches could do on our own.

Here’s one last example. This past week we saw the largest expansion of our government since the New Deal. I have seen many friends take up arms calling those opposed to the health bill uncaring bigots. On the other hand I have seen many of my friends call those for the bill Communists. Let’s find common ground for a moment… did our healthcare system need an overhaul?  Yes. Is it good that many people with serious pre existing conditions are getting help now that was not available before?  Yes. Do we need to lower the deficit?  Yes. We will disagree on many things, but we must get beyond the mentality that if they are wrong on this point… then they are wrong on every point.

Ultimately we are living in a time when people care about party, whether donkey, elephant, Calvinist, Armenian, school proponent, or non school proponent more than they care about people. We build walls because we want to live in isolation with those who make us comfortable, whether liberal or conservative.

I certainly believe that there are things I will not compromise on. I will not compromise on scripture or on the centrality of Christ in salvation. My faith is a rock that cannot be moved. That said, I do not feel hate for my friends who do not trust Christ, but I feel compassion. I do not feel hate towards a president who I don’t agree with too much, but I pray for him. I won’t build walls on issues that aren’t central to the Gospel. I disagree with sins that many friends live in, knowing that they are the chains that hold them… but those chains don’t lead me to hate my friends, they lead me pray, feel compassion and share the gospel…

SO WHAT if you don’t get your way… It doesn’t give you privilege to spew the hate on your fellow man like we are doing today. Jesus said it very plainly, that men will know us by our love.

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