How Can We Be Lovers if We Can’t Be Friends?

So I was flipping channels the other day and see that Rick Warren is in trouble. I have to admit that I am no huge fan of Warren’s. I don’t really have a reason why I am not a fan of his, maybe it is because all I know of him is purpose driven marketing. But I am sort of stunned at the problem that people are having over this.

Here is the situation as I see it. (you can read about it from the Time website here) may be wrong in the way I am looking at it, but here is what I see. Warren’s church is having a summit about AIDS. They are trying to figure out how the church can be a light to people with AIDS and how to help stop the spread of this disease. Warren wants to have speakers from both Republicans and Democrats so that people can’t accuse him of being biased. So he goes out and gets  Barack Obama (by the way that has to be one of the greatest names of all times. It sounds like a name that someone playing D&D made up) to come and speak.

Well, that apparently set off a whole nest of Christians who think that Obama is evil because he is pro-abortion. Of course it doesn’t help that Obama is probably going to run for president and it will help him with Christians if he is seen with Christians. So I guess some people are mad that Warren is helping his political campaign.

I don’t know all of the motives, in fact I know very little about all of the ramifications of this. But what I do know is that somehow we as Christians have forgotten our mission. Our goal isn’t to win the culture war. Our goal isn’t to make sure all of the right people get elected. Our goal isn’t even to stamp out abortion or defeat gay marriage. Our mission is to tell people about the love of Christ and lead them to a place where they can accept Him as their Lord and Savior. That is our goal. If we accomplish that mission all of this other stuff will take care of itself.

But too many Christians are more concerned with winning than with loving so we have drawn lines in the sand and forgotten how to reach out to others. This has caused most people who aren’t Christians to place a label over everyone who believes in Jesus as fanatics or bigots and so they don’t have to listen to us. We as the church have to realize that we have to start loving others and working with others or we are going to have less and less influence in our culture.

I would love to see Christians get half as worked up about telling their neighbor about Jesus as they are about some pastor and his attempt to reach out on World AIDS day.

I guess that is the end of my rant.  

3 thoughts on “How Can We Be Lovers if We Can’t Be Friends?

  • December 3, 2006 at 3:11 AM

    I agree totally, I read about this story earlier and was amazed. Christians always seem to fight the wrong battles. I have been saying for a long time, God is not a Republican, He is clearly a Libertarian (said with an amount of sarcasm).

  • December 3, 2006 at 5:20 AM

    God isn’t a republican, and the more I see republicans trying to claim him the more I don’t want to be one. I agree with the republican stance on most things, but I find myself trying to distance myself from them so I can have some credibility as a Christian.

    We have taken this revolutionary relationship with the creator and turned it into an institutionalized system that helps people win over their opponents. No wonder people have a warped view of God.

  • December 7, 2006 at 1:59 PM

    Shane, you had me worried with this post. First of all, it’s pro-choice, not pro-abortion. I would think a pro-abortionist would fight for abortion in all pregnancies like a pro-lifer would fight for life… but I digress. I think you hit the nail on the head in what our role should be. I see it as more of a "letting the Gospel and love of God draw people into making the right decisions" thing rather than pass laws to make their options fall into line with what we believe. If it’s the latter, why aren’t we campaigning to pass laws to require faith in Jesus. I guess the only hangup to that line of thinking is we’re supposed to be looking out for those that can’t look out for themselves.


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