April 27, 2020
How Selective is Your Club?
It’s pretty easy to find a club for just about any interest in our society … the Italian Club … civic clubs like Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis … Masons … country clubs … labor unions … political parties. They all have very specific criteria for membership. Some organizations are selective, like players for the Pittsburgh Steelers or the cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys. Colleges, med schools, the military … even families have criteria and selection processes for membership by marriage.
In today’s world, harmony and tolerance have become goals unto themselves. Peace at any cost … All ways lead to God … Live and let live. Such “tolerant” attitudes where everything is ok and no “right” answer exists actually lead to intolerance of anyone who claims to have the answer or truth. Religions, moral “clubs,” or groups with certain beliefs and specific criteria seem to be treated differently. Their criteria or a selection processes seem to be intolerable.
Jesus made it clear that He is the only way to God and real peace. In Isaiah 9:6 He is called the Prince of Peace. God calls us to love all people. But agreeing that other faiths lead to God just so we can achieve unity and “peace” denies and renders powerless our own faith … the teachings of God, the existence and work of Jesus, and the Holy Bible. In doing so, we deny Jesus as our Savior. As Christians, we are not expressing Christ-like love when we accept the beliefs of those who deny Christ or who live sinful lifestyles … simply for the sake of unity and peace. Loving people means sharing the truth for fulfilled and Godly living with them, not conspiring in lies with them. The Bible is clear about God, Jesus, and moral issues.
The double standard for “clubs” really shows me the existence, power, and agenda of Satan. Satan wants people to believe that being nice is all you need to do to be Holy, thus engaging with God by avoiding Christ if you so desire. Satan wants to push the idea that we can connect with God in our own power, through our efforts. This is how we become stuck on the Mosaic Law and legalism, and have difficulty absorbing God’s gracious gift of forgiveness.
Begin expressing Jesus’ love by loving people where they are, by building relationships with them and by sharing the truths of the Gospel with them as the Holy Spirit leads. Don’t judge them before you have a relationship with them. They won’t understand what you are saying or doing and it will turn them farther away from God. But be clear in your heart. Jesus is the only answer. Don’t let anybody guilt you into thinking Christianity is the only club with an intolerant selection criteria. Show them how compassion and rigidly holding to the truth can co-exist. Christians have a selective club with selective criteria, but we want everybody to be in our club.
Today, reach out to new recruits with love. Help them join the club, and then we all work on our issues together. God used that sequence with you, so you can extend it to others. Think how terrible it would have been if God expected you to be perfect in order to earn His love, and only then would He die for you. That is not who Jesus was. Whether you accept and love others and then help them transform, or you wait until they are transform for you to love them is your decision, so choose well.
My Father, Help me never to deny my faith by accepting the unscriptural beliefs of others for the sake of unity and peace. Help me love others, no matter what their faith. Help me love them enough to build relationships with them. As the Holy Spirit leads, help me to share the truth of the Gospel with them … and to do so with love. I pray that my daily activities lead others to understand that Jesus is the only way. I pray this and all prayers through the One you sent to show us the way, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: “May your peace abound! I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:25-27