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Thursday, August 20, 2015

How do We Live in the Tension?

Photo by Praisaeng courtesy of
A few weeks ago I was intrigued by a Facebook discussion sparked by an article about the gay marriage issue. Many people weighed in, some agreeing with the article's position, others strongly disagreeing. As I read the comments and followed the debate, I wanted to have the perfect comment to end the debate, to resolve the tension.

I admit, I want an easy-peasy, straightforward answer. I want both sides to walk away at peace with the other. I want resolution. However, beliefs and opinions are strong and opposing. Longings are powerful. Pain is difficult to overcome. There is no easy resolution. So we end up living in the tension. How do we navigate that?

How do we live out a Christian faith in a post-Christian (sometimes it even feels anti-Christian) culture?

I wish I had an easy answer. I wish I had the solution, however at this point, I am left with a few things I know and lots of questions.

I know God loves humankind -- more than we can possibly imagine. I know that God wants people to choose Him and to obey Him. I know that God chose, at incredibly immense cost to Himself, to allow people to chose for themselves whether or not to obey Him and that I need to give them the same freedom He does. I know that God wants me to love and demonstrate grace in the same way He has to me (oh, how poorly I do this!!!). I know that God has standards of right and wrong that He established for our well-being.

Still there is this tension, this place where we live that has no simple answers. How do we both live according to God's standards of right and wrong and love those who don't? How do become involved, intelligent, gracious citizens of a country where we have the freedom to influence public policy on matters that involve strongly held, but controversial, issues of faith and morality?

I don't know for sure. Yet, if we desire to be authentic in our faith and draw others to Christ, then I think we must come together with those who hold opposing views with respect and honesty. I think we must ask the hard questions and hear answers that we may not like and still respect the one who has spoken. We must find a way, not out of the tension, but through it.

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