Face To Face With The…Opposition?
Posted by Stan Rodda
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.
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 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.