We like to label people don't we? We like it when people fit neatly into a "this or that" category.
The problem is that people do not always fit nice and neat into our "either/or" categories, and this often complicates things. It makes it harder for us to judge people... to label them. So we end up putting them in those categories anyway, even if it may or may not accurately describe them.
When Amendment One was being voted on in my state of NC, needless to say, things got a little heated. If you voted FOR the amendment, you hated gay people. If you voted AGAINST the amendment then you were ignoring the Bible and were out to destroy the "traditional/biblical family" as well as Christianity.
In most cases, no one was willing to listen to the other's side of the story.
It's another election year, so no doubt you have seen all the bashing going on via Facebook and other social media avenues. So it would seem, that you are either a closed minded republican who hates the poor or a communist liberal who hates America.
These simple categories and labels we like to place on people just simply aren't helpful, especially within the body of Christ. These labels do nothing but bring more division, rather than bringing unity amongst us.
And believe it or not, it's not necessary. The name calling, the drawing of lines in the sand... They aren't necessary. I have found that it is possible to disagree on just about everything and still be unified.
I know this to be true, because I see it almost every day. Some of my best friends voted republican in the last election and will vote that way again in the upcoming one. They voted FOR Amendment One. I think some of them even ate at Chick Fil A on August 1st.
And yet, I know for a fact they are not closed minded bigots who hate other people. In fact, I can say without a doubt they love God, the Bible, and they love and care for other people.
On the other hand, I also have good friends who voted democrat and will again. Some who voted AGAINST Amendment One, and some who are even boycotting Chick Fil A because they are not ok with how their profits are being used.
And yet, I know for a fact they are not relativist who hate the Bible nor are they out to destroy Christianity. In fact, they are very passionate about their faith, they love God and the Bible, and they love others as well.
I can sit down and have dinner with any and all of these people, and it doesn't matter that we see things differently or that we hold to different politics and/or theology.
And our differences are not something we have to tip toe around or pretend like they don't exist. We have political and theological conversations and discussions regularly. The point, however, is never to change the other's mind, but rather to learn something about one another... to see things how the other sees them. We want to know one another better.
At the end of the day, amongst all the disagreements and different view points, we still break bread together, and I am again and again reminded that we have all things in common.