Face To Face With The…Opposition?

My wife and I recently celebrated our 10th Anniversary.  We went into Washington, DC and spent the night.  It was a great couple of days away from everything.  We stopped for lunch one day at a place just west of the White House called “Corner Bakery Cafe.”  It was a fantastic place to eat.  And right outside the cafe, on either side of the street corner were a couple of men.  They were wearing T-shirts that read, “Equality.”  Misty and I briefly chatted over lunch who they might be representing, but both of us knew what that term has come to represent.Equality

As we left we decided to stop and talk to one of them.  He was very polite and began talking to us about their organization’s purpose and what they were trying to accomplish.  Misty and I listened when he handed us a three-ring binder.  He began flipping through some of the pages.  On one of the pages were listed other organizations in the country.  And not just any organizations.  Some of the leading Christian organizations in our country, including Focus on the Family.  He explained to us how their agenda was going to be confronted and they were preparing to be “opposed” by some of the leading Christian organizations in our country.  It was at this point that I had the thought, “What would happen if I told him I was a campus pastor for a church in the DC area?  How would he react?”  I mean, he did just call us the “opposition.”

I didn’t tell him who I was.  We listened, thanked him for his time and moved on.  As we walked away, we immediately began discussing our impressions of that experience.  My question was this, “Why do we have to be the opposition?”

When I read through the New Testament, I read about a powerful man named Jesus.  He was the Son of God and John 1 teaches that He was God in the flesh.  He brought the very nature of God, the exact representation of God, onto the earth in human form.  He stepped into a world that was torn.  The Romans were in conflict with the Israelites.  The leading religious leaders of His day were in conflict with many of the people they were taking advantage of.  There was even conflict among the religious leaders themselves.  And while conflict was thriving, people were being overlooked.

Jesus changed all that.  On a couple of occasions, it is recorded that He touched a leper.  This was culturally unacceptable, especially for someone in the role of rabbi as Jesus was.  There was another time when a woman, who was caught in adultery (why didn’t the religious leaders bring the man as well?) was brought to Jesus.  He responded to her with grace.  Then there was another time when Jesus had a conversation with a Samaritan woman.  The Samaritans were hated by the Jews.  The whole scene had disaster written all over it.  Yet, the story concludes with the woman running into town, full of excitement and she brings the entire village out to meet Jesus.  And there were at least three occasions where Jesus raised a dead person to life.

Not only in His actions, but also in His teachings, Jesus proved to be the greatest humanitarian.  When a religious leader asked Jesus in a trap question, what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, “Love God with everything you are and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus loved the people around Him through His teaching and His lifestyle.

He defended the weak.

He stood up for the overlooked.

He brought justice to those who had been oppressed.

He shared life with the unpopular.

He ate with those on the lowest rung of the social totem pole.

He was by all accounts, a revolutionary, humanitarian.  He brought all people onto a level playing field.  The religious elite were too proud and the overlooked were lifted up.  And ultimately, He accomplished the greatest humanitarian act in history; He died on a cross for our sins (all of our sins, even the sins of the “religious”) and rose from the dead three days later.   All of this brought humanity onto an even playing field in the eyes of God the Father.

The ultimate question is not which organization you support.

The ultimate question is not who’s our opposition.

The ultimate question is; do you know Jesus Christ?

Because in the end, God is not going to ask us how many organizations or causes we were for, but He is going to ask if we know His Son.

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About Stan Rodda

Follower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.

Posted on June 25, 2010, in discipleship, Family, God, pastors, social settings, the basics, the culture, the nation, worldview. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. jessiekaitlyn

    Great blog! relevant quote: “Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, and our neighbor can be anybody. We are all created in the image of God and we are all sacred, valuable creations. To treat people differently based on who believes what is to fail to respect the image of God in everyone.”
    Keep up the good work, I’m definitely following your blog! Check out mine if you get a chance!

  2. While I suspect that I would be against their agenda, I will also go on to say that it is sad that Christians are being known more for what we are against than what we are for. Everything has become so adversarial. While I might disagree with a lifestyle choice, why can I not be known for positive things related to that lifestyle. Like ministering or AIDS work or simply showing love instead of standing on the opposite street corner preaching against them? I applaud what you and your wife did. I pray that if I am ever confronted with that I respond with the same grace.

  3. Jesus died for us all. Black, white, purple, green, straight, gay, sideways, upwards, backwards, and forwards.

    I have so much to say when it comes to Christians and this topic. I guess it all boils down to love. “Love one another”. That is what we are commanded to do. Not to judge. It saddens my heart to hear that Christians are known more for what we are against. I’ve made it a goal of my own to show love, not hate…..I’m not God – It’s not my job to judge.

    • culturalawakening

      I definitely agree that Jesus died for all of us. There is no doubt about that. However, 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Don’t be fooled. Bad company corrupts good morals.” That seems to suggest that we must make some judgments. It is easy for me to look at a person staggering home, or pulled over on the side of the road having a sobriety test done, and know that a sin has taken place. Why? Because the Bible says, you can drink, but don’t get drunk. So there are some things we can judge. My point was that the greatest equalizer and humanitarian on earth (Jesus Christ) is the one that they claim is the opposition. I just found that a strange irony. Just shows Christians haven’t represented Christ well. That being said, all of us need Jesus because ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

  4. No likes their sin pointed out. Jesus was killed by the establishment by pointing out their hypocrisy. The current establishment hates their own hypocrisy and sin being pointed out. Also, they refuse to acknowledge all of the good the Church does worldwide. Why do we always bunker? Of course we should be loving and gracious, but we need to quit beating ourselves up every time the world says, “Boo!” It’s a fantastic tactic by the Enemy: make sure that not only does the world beat up the Church, but get the Church to beat itself up. How about Paul before Aggripa? How about Paul aggressively asserting his rights as a Roman citizen at Philippi?

  5. Ron Furgerson

    Stan — Great article. And, certainly thought provoking. Just how is it that a Christian can best represent Jesus to a lost world? It is certainly not by railing against anyone who holds an opinion contrary to the way we understand Scripture. And yet Jesus commissioned us to: go, make disciples, baptize, and teach everything He commanded. I personally believe the the commission and the promise that He would be with us also means His Holy Spirit will guide us as to the time, place and manner for carrying out the commission and that He will guide our hearts and words as we speak the truth in love. I believe God will let us know how to respond to situations like yours and will give us the perfect “platform” for proclaiming the great news about Him. At that time, we can, along with Isaiah:

    “In that day you will say:
    “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.

    Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.

    Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

    (Isaiah 12:4-6)

    • So, no railing, ever. Does that include not preaching repentance? What if we are being seduced by our culture that accepts everything, and we are both afraid and even unable because of that seduction to call sin what it is?

      • culturalawakening

        Oh, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t call a sin what God has clearly called sin. I do not teach, nor do I believe that the homosexual lifestyle is God honoring. My point was just to say that I thought it was interesting that they are fighting for equality in opposition to “Christian” organizations. The leader of Christians is Christ and He was and is the greatest equalizer and humanitarian of all. So it’s just interesting that we have represented Him so poorly, that rather than seeing Him as the ultimate One who can free all people, provide peace and fulfillment and bring them into a right relationship with God, they see Him as opposition. It’s just too bad that they don’t see Him as He truly is. And that’s Christians fault for not representing Christ well.

        So, to be direct, I’m all for calling sin what God has called sin. But while humans are on an equal playing field in front of God, so are our sins. That means gossip is just as dishonoring to God as homosexuality. And having an attitude of bitterness and complaining is just as dishonoring to God as a strip club on the corner.

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