Does there always have to be a litmus test?

Too many people today want to simplify our human complexities—we’re either ALL right/good or ALL bad/wrong.  We are ALL conservative or ALL liberal.  And there seems to be an illusive ‘litmus’ test to determine orientation and worldview.Image
 
We’re particularly ‘good’ at this in the the subculture people lump me into (while well motivated–we think we’re protecting something–we talk more about what we’re ‘against’ rather than what we stand ‘for’ and it’s simply not winsome).
 
 
I just don’t buy this oversimplification of life and of people.  If I’m honest with myself, I find that I’m far too complex, life is far too complex, for a one-size-fits-all test of my views.
 
(I’m anticipating kick-back from some reading this who will accuse me of NOT believing in or setting boundaries.  I want to quickly say that I believe there are boundaries both in civil society and in Christianity but what suggesting is adopting a worldview that is oriented toward focusing on the core things we agree on rather than the things that divide us.  
We don’t have to stop talking about the margins–we must, but let’s not camp there.)
 
We are fearfully and wonderfully made by a CREATOR who, well, created creatively!  No two of us alike but all of us in HIS image with an orientation/inclination in our hearts directed toward HIM.  With a strong dose of creatively, one thing is constant in all of us: HE designed us to be in relationship with HIMSELF.  HE leaves no about HIS desire for relationship with us and leaves no wiggle room–HE loves us wherever we are in relation to whatever litmus test is being applied.
 
 
Jesus said something to the rich young ruler that I have always found interesting. When the young man told Jesus that he had done all the the law required of him (love God, love neighbor) Jesus found something to challenge him with (go sell ALL that you have).  “So you think you have done it all but I find one thing you’re lacking–dependence upon ME.”
 
God wants us to depend on him—for everything!  Even is we think we have it all figured out, HE will find a way to let us know that HE is bigger than we think, and we are in desperate need of HIM.
 
It’s far too easy to ignore what God has written on our hearts.  And it’s far too easy to judge others who don’t see the world as we do.  Even if we think we have it ALL figured out, God will find a way to let us know it’s HIS role to judge, not ours.  HE will find a way to point out our own shortcomings and not look for those shortcomings in others–if we’re listening.
 
As followers of Christ, we’re to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.  We/I should engage the world as it is making a difference in the lives of people God places in our path, and we do this by keeping our focus on HIM, and being in relationship with each other–it’s messy.

About Bob Creson

President/CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, Orlando, Florida. It is an injustice not to have the right to read the Scriptures.
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