Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

            For years I have dealt with a variety of people who seem to enjoy fighting internally as much as they enjoy fighting the real enemy.  Let me begin by reminding each of us that our real enemy is not man or men, gay or straight, liberal or conservative.  Our real enemy is a spiritual force that seeks to destroy the souls of men.  As long as we waste all of our time fighting symptoms we will never cure the disease.

 

            Rather than delve into the weeds on this broad topic I want to narrow it down somewhat.  I work with a lot of people who want to spend a lot of their time fighting other Christians who do not believe the same on noncore issues.  In other words, many of us want to fight over the ten percent over which we disagree rather than celebrate the ninety percent on which we agree.

 

            I am losing my patience with these arguments for a number of reasons, but the main reason is this type of argument does not further the goal of the church.  We are here to be salt and light, to transform unregenerated man and culture into regenerated man and culture.  We are here to change the world, to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth rather than take the kingdom of earth to heaven.

 

            I do not think there are arguments in heaven over what version of the Bible we read.  I do not think there are arguments in heaven over what clothes we wear.  I do not think heaven cares about the length of our hair—for either men or women.  Do not get me wrong, I love to discuss these issues when they do not matter, but I believe when we lead with these issues we discredit the kingdom of heaven.

 

            One of the biggest time destroyers in the evangelical community for decades has been the role of the Catholic Church.  Let me start off by saying that I am not a member of the Catholic Church because I do not agree with some of their doctrine.  I do not, however, want to argue over the doctrinal differences between us here.

 

            I think there are more important matters that Evangelicals must consider in our war to discredit or destroy the Catholic Church; matters that should give us pause the next time we declare war on the Catholic Church.

 

            We need to remember, no matter how we feel about the Catholic Church they were the chosen vehicle for the church for nearly fifteen hundred years.  Before the Reformation began there was only the Catholic Church; and to a much lesser extent the Orthodox Church, making inroads into the cultures of the world of any significance.

 

            Regardless of what I think about the Catholic Church, God chose to use it as His tool on the face of the earth.  To believe otherwise is to question the sovereignty of God.  So, first of all we should show some respect for the history God has given us as a people.

 

            Next, the Catholic Church is an organization that reaches around the world.  You can go to any major and most other cities in the world and find a Catholic Church that is reaching into the community for some reason.

 

            Regardless of whether we agree with their doctrine, the Catholic Church still preaches the name of Jesus on a number of levels.  They continue to speak about Jesus to much of the world—places where the Evangelical Church has yet to turn its attention.

 

            There is great value in this.  I understand that there are many who believe we can only accept the discussions of Jesus that are completely inundated with proper theology.  I personally believe there is value in the moral codes and structures that cover the world which were created by the Catholic Church—moral codes which are, at their core, Christian morals.  These moral codes influenced our founding fathers, even the ones who were not Christians.

 

            Another value we need to consider is the stand the Catholic Church is making around the world as a Christian organization that is avoiding creating a complete vacuum for Islam and other anti-Christian belief systems around the world to fill.  We should not be deceived; the vacuum that would be left by the loss of a Christian moral code is not neutral.  Whether it is a moral code that does not believe in moral absolutes or an Islamic or Hindu moral code, it is a moral code that has spiritual significance and will change the face of the planet.

 

You might not realize it but there are more religions than Islam that are killing Christians right now.

 

            According to Voice of the Martyrs there are more Christians being killed because of their faith right now than at any time in the history of the world!

 

            Whether we believe it or not, we are in a battle for the spiritual soul of this planet.  Christianity has long been the dominate religion, but that is rapidly changing even in America.           

 

            The final argument I am presenting is without a doubt the strongest argument.  The Catholic Church is undoubtedly the strongest voice in the world on the issue of abortion and same-sex marriage.  While some Evangelicals have stumbled over these issues, the Catholic Church remains staunchly committed to a pro-life position without apology.  They are so firm that they have issued statements regarding the value of life during this election cycle in America where abortion is almost a nonexistent issue.

 

            At the same time, the Catholic Church is standing strong against the idea that God approves of the marriage of two men or two women.

 

            Mark my words, if we lose the voice of the Catholic Church on either of these issues we will see a free fall of the moral structure of the entire western world.  It is not an overstatement to declare that but for the stand of the Catholic Church pro-life and pro-traditional family values would not exist.

 

            Instead of being divisive maybe it is time for us to come alongside our brethren and thank them for keeping the Bible alive, standing for morality in a dark land, and proving to be worthy of the calling God gave them nearly two thousand years ago.

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Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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