Perceptions of life experience vary vastly. Interpersonal traps are afoot by underestimating the power, and personally-held truths implicit, of differing traditions, values sets and histories. What’s seen at the pointy end are assumptions made according to the wrong rules...
These ‘failure to communicate’ experiences evolve through a lack of recognition for the myriad schooling of life.
The gospel of God is the tolerance of all these schools—as we’re personally concerned. Broad statement but it’s true. It’s the Christian way, despite what some extremists say.
Proof of the inherent godliness of this construct is the uniqueness of experience. Each one sees what looks like the same thing but through different eyes. If God wanted us all thinking similarly he’d have limited our range for understanding and perception.
Preaching FOR and Never Against
Instead of preaching against one school’s ethos, we preach for ours, and we do it in that charismatic fashion called “love,” an alluring ‘magic’ potion that works (in some way) every time. That’s why God’s inherent Love—it works as truth in and through the fabric of life. Always has done, always will do.
When we tell people their way is wrong—whether by politics, religion, spirituality or philosophy for living—we’re really telling them we don’t love them. This might seem like an over-simplification. It isn’t.
People are easier to hurt than we think. It might be thought that in challenging people’s paradigms they’re not being attacked—for the issue is tackled, not the person—but the human mind and heart sees difference and therefore it’s a threat. There are millions of different manifestations of this. The point is it’s negative.
“Division,” Not Divisiveness
When Jesus spoke of “division” in Luke 12:51 he meant the Gospel would divide, bringing peace to the ones embracing it, but persecution also for the significant spiritual difference created between even family members. Jesus never meant that believers are to be divisive in their methods, throwing down others’ beliefs.
Division is a consequence of the Gospel, not the method for preaching it.
Preaching for the allure of Jesus’ gospel in and through tolerance is the objective of the Christian life. Let’s understand this doesn’t have anything to do with preaching in the vocal sense. It’s our manner, disposition, body language and favour to all humankind that sets people most apart as Jesus’ kin—not what we say.
Respect for All Rules and Schools
When it’s considered that everyone has come to the formation of themselves through deliberate and intentional processes for learning, having done their best to negotiate life, it’s hard to not respect them. Just surviving life is a major accomplishment for many.
Of all assumptions to make—“all have engaged in ‘good’ learning”—the above is safe because it induces no harm. Of all generalisations to make—“all people”—the above is safe. It causes no harm to anyone. It honours their context. We can honour things without agreeing with them, because we’re noting the importance of it to them; we choose love (of them) over fear (which is tackling the differences our beliefs can’t stomach).
We do not harm ourselves or anyone else when the tolerance of inimitable respect flows through our psyches.
Repentance – An Individual Choice
It is up to individuals to repent of their own. As individuals, we can only make our repentance—as we hear God usher it through our spirit—and force nobody else’s.
Until God reveals the truth to people—as they’re to hear it—how are we to pass judgment? It’s between them and God.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.