First, let me say that I pray sincerely for all of you reading this message, and that I consider you my brother or sister in Christ. I ask for God’s blessing and forgiveness for my wrongs, and for your forgiveness as well.
I’m posting this thread here, since both sides seem to want to evangelize one another.
I feel that we are a Church divided, mirroring (sadly) our society as well. I think this division is both bad for the modern Church, and also anti-Biblical. I think we’re seeing one another too much through the lenses of “liberal” and “conservative.” Since I describe myself in neither of those terms, I have a problem when a liberal criticizes a conservative and vice-versa. It seems to me that we often paint a caricature of the belief of our political opponents, then excoriate them for believing what we’ve painted onto the caricature.
Here’s my going-in position. We all love God and are seeking to do what is right. We are all trying to live in the right way. We are all fallen. We all make mistakes. We are all sorely in need of forgiveness.
Here are some Biblical quotes that make me believe that we need to unite as brothers and sisters in Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:
"10 urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 give thanks [to God] that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. "
1 Peter 2:
“15 For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God. 17Give honor to all, love the community, fear God, honor the king.”
1 John 2:
“18Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number. 20 But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you all have knowledge.”
“1 Welcome anyone who is weak in faith,a but not for disputes over opinions. 2One person believes that one may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has welcomed him. 4Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5[For] one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. 8For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.g 9For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.h 10Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
19Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another.”
"1 We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves; 2let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up. 3For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you fall upon me.” 4For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, 6that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. "