Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to a special-edition series of the Kingdom Perspective.
How should we respond to the differing personal opinions brought about by opening our society post-COVID?
We should not judge one another but seek to accept and love one another in our various opinions.
According to Scripture, one of chief ways that we are to love our neighbor is by making room for their differing opinions. The Bible invites us to give one another much room for matters of conscience (Romans 14).
As our society goes through the process of opening up, it is likely that there will be conflict over differing approaches. There is a spectrum of fear and freedom upon which we are all processing this move back into public engagement. Some of us feel greater freedom. Others are going to feel greater fear. Regardless, the Bible tells us that “loving our neighbor” requires us to give one another space for differing views. Certainly, we are to respect all the guidelines laid down by our public health officials. But even under these guidelines there will be a lot of room for differing approaches.
And it is at this point of differing approaches that I must be careful not to stand in judgment or disdain of my brother or sister who feels greater freedom or greater fear than me. Rather, I am to accept them and think and speak the best about them. Even more so, I am to do my best to accommodate them. In the words of Romans 14, I am to “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Romans 14:19).
This is hard work. It’s the hard work of loving my neighbor. It requires me to value the perspective of others as highly as I value my own (Philippians 2:3-4).
And that’s something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
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….
So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
~ Romans 14 ESV