July 27, 2020
by Pastor Don Willeman
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 re-opening our society post-COVID?
We should be careful not to judge one another but seek to accept and love one another in our various opinions.
The Bible invites us to love one another by giving one another much room for differing views (matters of conscience – Romans 14) and to avoid the temptation of standing in judgment.
As our society is going through the process of opening up, there are conflicts over differing approaches. There is a spectrum of comfort upon which we are all processing this move back into public engagement. Some will feel greater freedom to take personal risks. Others, less freedom. Regardless, the Bible tells us that “loving our neighbor” requires us to give one another space for differing consciences. 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 differently 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. If they feel a lesser degree of comfort, I am to meet them at their level. In the words of Romans 14, I am to “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Romans 14:19).
This is very hard work, but it’s what the Bible calls “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 14:10-19 (ESV)