How to Believe the Bible and Still Love People

Rant time!

I am sick and tired of people in the media or on social media assuming that there are only two types of Christians. Type #1 being the “extremists” who actually believe the Bible and can’t wait to smack people with rules, condemnation, and judgement. And, type #2 being the “progressives” who care more about cultural relevance, social justice, and tolerance than what the Bible actually says. It’s as though it is impossible for me to believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible and love people at the same time. That makes me mad! Why do they think that? Possibly because of a media bias against Christians, and possibly because of the MANY Christians who don’t seem able to combine belief with loving words and actions.

This rant continues with 4 reminders for those of you who, like me, hold a literal interpretation of the Bible and want to be a loving example of Jesus Christ.

  1. Belief ≠ Reaction

pout-1190741_1920This is a pet peeve of mine. We need to think before we post that meme, or share that article, or make that comment on social media. Are we reacting in a way that honors God or that makes us look stupid? I’m not happy with the state of our country, or current politics, or some of the policies that have been made lately, but I try really hard not to publicly react.

Let’s attempt to think things through and ask questions like, “If I do/say this will it make God look bigger? Will people think He is awesome? Will this create an atmosphere of love and acceptance? Will it push people away?”

Just because something makes me upset, doesn’t mean I have to react on social media. (That’s what my husband, and sister, and friends are for.)

  1. Belief ≠ Talk

speech-1026399_1920We need to know when to say nothing. Just because I disagree doesn’t always mean I have to let people know. It is possible to “not agree” without vocally disagreeing. It is possible to wait to share your opinion until someone asks for it.

When Jesus was here on earth, He asked tons of questions. This is interesting to me because, of all people, He actually had accurate information to give. What if we followed Jesus’ example and worked on asking good questions that encouraged others to talk and process instead of just pushing our beliefs on them?

  1. Belief ≠ Stupid

stupid-487043_1920Just because I do not believe in many of our culture’s more liberal ideologies does not make me stupid. However, sometimes Christians can look stupid because they haven’t taken the time to figure out why they have certain beliefs. I’m not talking about screaming apologetics at people. I’m talking about knowing what the Bible says, searching your own heart, talking to God, and taking the time to “work out your salvation” (Phil. 2:12). Personal stories and experiences are way less threatening than “statistics” and “facts”. Listen, ask questions. Be gentle, be full of grace, and please, try to sound intelligent.

  1. Belief ≠ Hate

heart-462873_1280Just because I do not agree with a homosexual or transgender lifestyle, doesn’t mean that I hate these people! Absolutely not! On the contrary, when I read about the high percentages of  depression and suicide within the LGBT community, it makes me care about them even more!

I believe that everyone was made in the image of God. I believe that everyone has a sin nature that separates them from a relationship with God. Even though I think homosexuality is a sin, I also think that looking at porn is a sin, along with lying, gossiping, and eating too much! Sin is everywhere and it is something Jesus came to destroy! He took the punishment for sin and He destroyed the power of it. How is anyone going to hear and believe the amazing news of Jesus if His followers (Christians) are too full of hate and fear to share the gospel?

We need to love people with the same crazy, radical, intense, unconditional love that Jesus has for us! Don’t think you can do it? Ask God to give you as much of His heart for people as you can handle. I guarantee you will be a tearful, broken wreck who can’t stop loving people even when it doesn’t make any sense!


So there you go. I can believe in traditional marriage, literal creation, Jesus as the only way to heaven, etc. and still passionately love the people in the world. I will avoid public reactions, realize it’s possible to disagree without being vocal about it, work to have intelligent reasons for my beliefs, and destroy hate by the power of God’s unconditional love. Will you join me? If Jesus lives really inside of us, then let’s show Him to the world!

Love and belief.jpg

 

8 thoughts on “How to Believe the Bible and Still Love People

  1. I do believe love is action. You can say all you want. You love gays, trans or whatever, but until, you get to be friends with them, and see under all that stuff is a human, in need of love, saying it is useless. They are in a knee jerk position, and push back mightily because they for one are lost, have no hope and are climbing an uphill battle. And some just like the sin. Their sin is no different than mine. Period. What my biggest issue is on this matter, is the American view point, on religion and politics. IT is incredibly intermixed. There is no separation of church and state. This is a huge problem in the USA. MY BIGGEST issue is Christians, thinking that non Christians have to conform to the laws of the Christian. THEY are not Christians, they are behaving exactly like non Christians will and do, because they have not had the conviction of the HS and the scales taken off their eyes. You cannot expect a nation to conform, when it is non Christian. There is no such thing as a Christian nation…….otherwise, every single one of your leaders, police, judges, and population would be born again saved, and baptized. So for Christians to expect this on a nation or people to not sin, not be gay, not be trans would be wrong. It cannot happen. Whether you agree with it or not, it is a false expectation. Christians put a ton of pressure on non Christians and expect them to follow Christian beliefs without being Christian or understanding what it is .

    • I hope you didn’t feel like I was saying any of that in this blog post. Your comment feels a bit like an attack and I’m not sure what I said that offended you. Please feel free to explain.

  2. I am Canadian. This is not a personal attack on you. Your nation , has the most obscure, mix of religion and politics. The two are so heavily braided together it is impossible to change. It is so tightly wound that it is either one or the other. If you are frustrated because you cannot be one or the other, or be extremist or socially conscious it is because the understanding of religion is funneled through a very deeply entrenched political belief system. I don’t have any other way to say it. Religion, politics, in the states are one and the same. You are one or the other. If you want to be understood to be anything other than that your country has to change its beliefs. I am sorry I came across as cross or agitated.

    • That’s okay! I was just confused. Religion and politics became even more entrenched in the last few years as these super conservative religious people (like the cult I grew up in) decided to try and “take the country back for God”. It’s such a mess now thanks in large part to their unfortunate success. 😦

  3. Things are so different elsewhere in the world. Things are so different here. You are either a Christian or not. Nobody cares to know. Nobody even knows outside the church there are differences. Except for Catholic or Protestant. And neither of this has anything to do with the way you vote. Nothing. You vote for whoever you want. No religious anything. Generally , Christians vote conservative, but that has nothing to do with anything except……….well actually I don’t know!!! LOL. Although, this last election the majority of conservative votes moved elsewhere. To be conservative in politics has nothing to do with religion. It is scary watching what is going on in the states. We get all your major networks, and if we want to order we get most of your cable like TLC , and stuff. We vote for who’s policies best fit our current national conditions.

  4. Pingback: Rediscovering Jesus – Rediscovering the Bible (Part 3) | Let Me Be Foolish

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