Right vs. Relationship

man_question_markQuestion: Is it more important to be right or to have a relationship? Is it more important to win an argument or to win a friend?

Especially when it comes to politics; is it more important to be right politically or to be in a right relationship with one another?

This question, and post, comes out of a conversation I had with a black pastor friend. Theologically, my friend is as conservative as I am. He loves Jesus as much as I do, and he doesn’t like the direction our country is headed in any more than myself. However, my friend is fed up with the  constant barrage against Pres. Obama, and he is discouraged that much of the barrage is coming from white Christians and pastors. To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of if as well. Please understand, it’s not the criticism of the President’s politics, but of the man himself, that is grating. As a citizen of the United States you have every right to question and criticize the President’s policies. But as a disciple of Jesus you do not have the right to attack his person. Everyone, regardless of creed or politics, deserves respect.

My black pastor friend is against same-sex marriage, against abortion, and against socialism. But he is for Pres. Obama, the person. In many ways he sees Pres. Obama as this generations Martin Luther King Jr. Before you jump to conclusions consider the following: As immoral as you think Obama and his policies are, my friend thinks Bush’s were. For every verse you quote about abortion, my friend will quote about greed and neglect of society’s poor. As confused as you may be about his lack-luster support of Obama, he would be as confused about your complete support for Bush. As contradictory as you think he might be, he would see you being just as inconsistent. I guess beauty is in the eye of the electorate.

Little questionAgain I ask: Is it more important to be right or to have a relationship?

I think, at least politically speaking, having a relationship with my Christian brother and fellow-laborer if far more important than being right. Building the kingdom of God together is far more important than political correctness or incorrectness. Pointing people to Jesus is far more important than voting for a particular candidate or against another particular candidate.

 The election is over; it’s time to move on.

People are watching and reading. What you see as criticism others see as hostility. At the very least, criticize in a more rational, less emotional, way. Above all, don’t let your criticism bleed into hatred. It’s not worth it and it is doing irreparable harm to the body of Christ. Our job as followers of Jesus is to promote His kingdom and the ethics of His kingdom. We are Christians, not politicians. We are followers of Jesus, not members of the Republican or Democratic party. Nowhere are we commanded to vote. But we are commanded to love one another and to pray for those in authority.

“Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world” (Ephesians 6:12).

Friends, don’t let the enemy win by dividing and conquering the body of Christ.

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3 thoughts on “Right vs. Relationship

  1. First a short history lesson on this part of our citizenship: We live under a structure called a Constitutional Republic -there is a very good reason that our Pledge of Allegiance refers to our country as a Republic, and there is a very good reason that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution do not even mentioned the word “democracy”.
    Many people are under the false impression our form of government is a democracy, or representative democracy. This is of course completely untrue. The Founders were extremely knowledgeable about the issue of democracy and feared a democracy as much as a monarchy. They understood that the only entity that can take away the people’s freedom is their own government, either by being too weak to protect them from external threats or by becoming too powerful and taking over every aspect of life. Isn’t that where we are today?
    They knew very well the meaning of the word “democracy”, and the history of democracies; and they were deliberately doing everything in their power to prevent having a democracy.
    In a Republic, the sovereignty resides with the people themselves. In a Republic, one may act on his own or through his representatives when he chooses to solve a problem. The people have no obligation to the government; instead, the government is a servant of the people, and obliged to its owner — We the People. Many politicians (current autocrats) have lost sight of that fact. Separation of Church and State meant – Faith was societies responsibility not the government, which brings us to the main citizenship we have in God’s Kingdom which covers this world.
    The color of one’s humanity had nothing to do with whether it is right to speak up as a Christian. No matter what my hue, position, gender, education or strip of Christianity is, as a Christian we have a responsibility to speak up against that which is wrong. It is also not wrong to speak up in this country either as a Constitutional Republic, in fact it is correspondingly a responsibility.
    By being a citizen of both God’s Kingdom which is primary – and this country where we are also privileged with rights, we should not be silent. Silent against, that, which seeks to tell the Church how it should act in faith not only IN the Church but OUTSIDE the Church buildings or the homes we live in or places we work.
    This is NOT a republican thing over an election or a democrat thing over an election. THIS IS a faith issue!! We as Christians (disciples) are to be COUNTER CULTURE NOT SUB-CULTURE to the CULTURE of D.C., the president (executive), legislative and judicial elements or anything that seeks to speak for the Church or redefine it to their standards, appropriateness or self-perceived injustices. Whether it is the president who tells us that the Churches teaching is wrong about the value of pre-born humans to same sex-marriage. Wrong is still wrong no matter the hue of the skin who says it. For one to say otherwise is they are swallowing the lie and worst yet a lie to themselves.
    On one point alone and there are many-many more however just on one: to force me to pay (agree with money being extracted) for the destruction of life is against all that I believe life is: Destruction of the beginnings of life in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has imparted upon that promising life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this emerging human being has been deliberately deprived of their life, that is nothing but murder.
    Unless we have the courage to fight for a revival of wholesome reserve between man and man, we shall perish in anarchy of human values, right is right – wrong is wrong, redefining those based on preference is not an option for Christians no matter who the “star-idol” is Politian or otherwise is. Publicly it means the renunciation of all place-hunting, a break with the cult of the “star,” to open our eyes both upwards and downwards, especially today. One does not use canons to shoot sparrows, so one point at a time – to tear down the enemies walls of separation. The first shot to tear down this wall starts with valuing life from its beginning to the end life here. It is not for government or of any humans demands that I pay (over God’s view of life) for the ending of either end of their story of life!
    In short, it is much easier to see a thing from the point of view of abstract principle like those who are demanding my submission to their orders, than that of concrete responsibility. Things do exist that are worth standing up for without compromise. To me it seems that value of life is the first of several other steps in such things, as is Christ himself.
    The dividing line will run right through the various blends of the Church – that is true – that line was drawn almost 2000 years ago. That line is drawn in blood; the figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes political, ideological views for its standard. Not in Politian’s seeking to speak for the Church or in the numbers of people who say we hate because we oppose this person or another count if they are ones who oppose Christ.
    The line is drawn not by man, but by God Himself. I’m on His side. “The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples (and his current disciples) will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
    So be it… which side of the line are you on… “…when the Son of Man comes will He find faith?” what is your answer? I know mine!

  2. Trust and respect are not deserved, but have to be earned. I know of very few politicians that have earned even a slight bit of either ., in many years. Democrats and Republicans; Black or white.

  3. Reading these posts gives me a sense of that old addage…”The more things change the more they stay the same.” The only thing that is rapidly changing in America is the mindset of the people who call these United States, America. We are in a constant influx of change. The entire landscape has changed, and that was ushered in to reality in 2008 when “America” elected President Barack Obama as President. Then, we went to the polls again in 2012 and again “America” elected President Barack Obama for the second time. So as American citizens we are all united and we should be supporting the one we chose as leader of this free world. Oh, well, did we change our minds again?

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