Posted by: Philip Rushton | May 21, 2013

Why Being A Christian Is Not Just About Having Opinions

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” I think the Western church often ignores 2/3rds of this claim. We are ready to say that Jesus is “the truth,” but we neglect the fact that Jesus also shows us a way to live our lives, and invites us to a life of communion with the living God. This separation of truth and relationship often leads towards hypocrisy. We end up producing Christians who have strong opinions and yet communicate these opinions in a way that is not very loving or redemptive. The message ends up being compromised by the means in which it is communicated. Perhaps this is why 85% of young non-Christians describe contemporary Christianity as hypocritical (Dan Kinnaman, UnChristian, page 42).

In light of this problem I came across these helpful words from Henri Nouwen. He writes:

“Words like “right-wing,” “reactionary,” “conservative,” “liberal,” and “left-wing” are used to describe people’s opinions, and many discussions then seem more like political battles for power than spiritual searches for truth. Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time. Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus, and they need to find there the source for their words, advice, and guidance . . . Dealing with burning issues without being rooted in a deep personal relationship with God easily leads to divisiveness because, before we know it, our sense of self is caught up in our opinion about a given subject. But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.”

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