Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How do we go about ‘standing firm’ in our faith?

Titus 1:9, “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. “

Maybe some of you have seen this bumper sticker recently. It looks sort of neat, has a nice feeling about it, but what is the underlying thought behind it? Some think that it is implying that all roads lead to heaven. Yes, we are called to love our neighbors and live in peace, forgiving one another. Coexisting in this world with others who don’t think, look, or act like we do is a reality and something that should take place without the hatred, bigotry, or stigmatism that is popularized by statements and actions of a few on different sides of the religious poles.
In the gospel of John, chapter4, Jesus and the Samaritan woman show us that people of different backgrounds and beliefs are able to interact and have a life-changing conversation, without condemnation. Despite knowing everything in the past of the woman at the well, Jesus did not get angry or upset or throw any harsh feelings or words at her. If we are to live as Christians, we need to be aware that our walk and talk should reflect that of Christ’s. We should exemplify the fruit of the Spirit when interacting and sharing our faith: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
Relativism is on the upward trend and it would be nice to not have any wrong opinions ever. But we need to tread cautiously; we do believe there is only one way to the Father, through the Son. Yet how we say it and spread it can dramatically impact the reaction we get when we are talking to someone such as the Samaritan Woman. According to Barna research, only 9% of American adults have a biblical worldview. Our message is not always a welcome one. Sometimes it may not even be so much as an audible one—we can share our faith and love for Christ by how we live. Gal 5:25-26, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”