What do we do when one of our deepest held beliefs offend another person’s deepest held belief?
In the world viewpoint we used to just go to war. Some cultures still do. Most just compromise their values in order not to offend. It is easier to give up truth than stand firm. In Canada, we have a government that legislates such things and tells us we are to compromise our faith and beliefs to accommodate others.
The second problem is even deeper. When we are forced to compromise our values, we erode our belief system and eventually our world view is taunted as wrong and even criminal. Then what happens is we start believing these lies and the truth of Christianity is no longer perceived as truth.
We compromise our faith and allow the world to determine what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, the world is a fallen place infested by sin. Quite simply, the world does not know the truth.
How do we then hold to the truth without offending others? We can not. We choose truth or we choose lies. Yet how we do this is crucial. And we have to ask one important question. Who is God? After all, if we adhere to His truth which is the Word, then we better get to know the author of all truth.
John summarized the character of God in three words. “God is love.” (1 John 4:8). The entire Bible is the story of how this love plays out. There are times of blessings and times of discipline. There is the balance between our free will to accept or reject God and God’s commands and rules. There are reasons why things are forbidden. Throughout this great story one thing is forbidden time and time again. Falseness, lies, and deceit that lead to rebellion.
We simply can not embrace the lies of this world and still follow Jesus. It is an either-or scenario. We must choose one or the other. To not offend the world that loves sin, we would have to choose sin over the Lord. To say abortion is okay or that sexual sins are okay means to deny that God said neither shall be permitted.
I choose Jesus. This belief offends those who see Christianity as their enemy. Many see the Bible as an archaic book of dont’s that tell them they’re going to hell. They equate love with permission to do whatever they want. They forget that love does not always mean getting your way. A parent’s love is supposed to guide and development, not simply allow us to follow whatever passion is in the wind.
When I practice my faith, I do so in love. I do not mean to offend and I do not apologize for my faith. I am a Christian and the things that I do stem from this. So, if I say Merry Christmas and it offends you, I am willing to explain my view to you. If I say that Jesus is the only way to receive salvation and enter heaven and this offends you, I can offer the reasons for my belief in a loving gentle way. Just like I have free will to accept the truth, you also have free will to reject it (see Ezekiel 3: 18-19).
Live your faith in the spirit of truth and love. Do not look to offend others with different beliefs but if they take offense do not apologize. Try to explain and listen to their reasons. However, do not be conformed to their ways but be confident in the Lord who shows you what is right (Romans 12:2).
Andy Becker is a retired counselor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon). He and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministries which offers love, hope, and encouragement to one of Canada’s poorest and roughest neighborhoods, North Central Regina. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca