This is the 3rd largest wooden building in North America. To some that fact endues them with a sense of pride. For me, its just a really big barn. I could walk the stalls, drink in the aroma of hay and horse, even get my picture taken with a prize winning stallion, but to me it will still be just a barn. Nothing too special. Now if I worked there, I would be offended if someone so flippantly just chalked it up to being “just a barn.” Its got character and history. Its special and one of a kind. How dare someone disrespect such a wonder, I would ponder. The difference of perspective here is astounding.
So in this hypothetical situation, who would be right, me the tourist, or me the worker?
Though both would be standing in the same building, but one thinks its the Tajmahal of horse barns and the other things its a nice place to take a picture.
I come across differences of opinion between Christians all the time. Some believe you have to dress a certain way; others simply don’t care. Some believe alcohol is the worst of evils, others enjoy their beer. Some refuse certain movies because of explicit content, and others watch anything that looks interesting regardless of rating. I’ve met all of these people. They all are holy, God fearing, Jesus loving, good people. So who is right?
The problem is that they both think they are right and believe the other is wrong. And sometimes they project that on the other. Have you ever heard someone accuse another Christian of being “less of a Christian” because they did or didn’t do _________ (you fill in the blank)?
“One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him…. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” – Romans 14:2-3,13 ESV
The problem is not who is right, but who is causing a stumbling block for the other. If your faith in God is strong enough that you can drink beer and not have an issue, that is fine, but don’t drink around other Christians who find it unholy, causing them to struggle with what they believe. If you are super-sensitive about media content, that is ok, just don’t preach to every other Christian that they are going to hell if they watch something you don’t like.
We have to recognize that God is bigger than any one theological model or particular denomination. We all should worship God the best way we can, and if someone does it different than we do, that is OK! The idea of “narrow is the path that leads to salvation” does not apply to whether as a Christian you believe in drinking a beer, watching an R-rated movie, or wearing a dress down to your ankles…
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 NIV Yet why is it that Christians are more know in the world for their bickering among each other than by the love that we show to people? I can’t tell you how many unbelievers I hear confess that they refuse Christianity because all they see is different sects accusing the other of being Biblically wrong, and these unbelievers tell me “how do we choose?” with a little sarcasm in their voice.
Be a little bit more wary what you call sin, as to make sure its not just your preference. And make sure your preferences are not ruining your love for one another.
So about that barn, can we not all agree its a lovely barn and live content with knowing we have different perspectives on the same thing?