This may be one of those rare times you get to read Jude. In this Advent reading, there were two days of reading Jude. It can actually be done in 10 minutes or less. Read more
I really wish to avoid any bumper sticker thinking of any kind. I know it’s not possible. We develop almost all of our political stances off of headlines attached to stories we don’t read, or bumper stickers we see and think, “Yeah… that makes sense.”
That’s too bad, but it is what it is.
We need to avoid it as believers. We don’t because it is work. Who has time for effort in Christianity? Just tell me what I need to believe and go on.
But Christianity isn’t for those who want to be spoon-fed all their lives. Christianity is “simple,” but not “simplistic.”
We are called to actually, get this, care for each other. Who has time for that?
We are also to care for people in their struggles.
One of those obscure New Testament letters we rarely read instructs us:
20 But you, dear friends: build each other up on the foundation of your most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep each other in the love of God, wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will give you eternal life. 22 Have mercy on those who doubt. 23 Save some by snatching them from the fire. Fearing God, have mercy on some, hating even the clothing contaminated by their sinful urges. (Jude, CEB)
This is a call to action.
“Have mercy on those who doubt.”
Don’t crush them with your bumper sticker theology. Have mercy.
They may falter. They may drift away. They may never come back.
One of the great benefits of reading the New Testament together in our church this summer has been witnessing the honest struggle people have as they read. When we come to the Word, we are finding the Word examines us. There are things we struggle with in our thinking. We struggle with obedience. We struggle with hard sayings.
Struggling together is what is vital.
I get a call every once in awhile from a friend who struggles. I will see him consistently for a stretch, then he drops away for awhile. But he knows I’m only a phone call away, and he calls. He struggles. He doubts.
I try to have mercy.
I’m not always “kind” in what I say, but I am truthful, and he knows it. He struggles… and as long as I can reach out to him and he reaches out to me… we will struggle together.
This kind of living doesn’t fit on bumper stickers. But if we avoid bumper sticker Christianity, at least we’ll keep our cars looking better! 😉