"Iím not for watering down the truth or compromising the Gospel. But if a fellow with a pure heart calls God 'Father', canít I call that same man 'Brother'? If God doesnít make doctrinal perfection a requirement for family membership, should I? And if we never agree, canít we agree to disagree? If God can tolerate my mistakes, canít I tolerate the mistakes of others? If God can overlook my errors, canít I overlook the errors of others? If God allows me with my foibles and failures to call him Father, shouldnít I extend the same grace to others? One thingís for sure. When we get to Heaven, weíll be surprised at some of the folks we see. And some of them will be surprised to see us."
That was written by Max Lucado in "When God Whispers Your Name."
You'd be amazed at how many people have disfellowshipped with me over doctrinal differences. Folks whose weddings I officiated, whose relatives I've buried, who turned to me for comfort and counsel, gone as soon as they realized we weren't clones of one another. I was booted of AOL 25 times in 6 years by other "Christians" who turned me in, disapproving of the same online messages that, as others reported, changed their lives. Eventually, I was completely banished as an AOL customer.
Max Lucado has felt that same sting over comments like the one he made above. I'm not sure about him, but some have labeled me a heretic. One even accused me of "hypergrace" - whatever that is. Several have condemned me to Hell.
Truth is, many of us are considered heretical by somebody else. We might march shoulder to shoulder against another Christian out of disdain for their perceived heretical perspective but, as we march, we may learn the 'brother' next to us believes very differently than we do.
Do we turn on THEM, too?
Fact is, most of us do not believe NOW everything we once believed and, chances are, in the future, we will believe some things that we, ourselves, once labeled as heresy.
Love is a verb; an ACTION word. Don't merely TELL people you love them; SHOW them.
Like any father whose kids play well together, our Father in Heaven would like that very much. Which reminds me, Malachi 2:10 asks two questions that deserve an answer: "Have we not all one Father ? Did not one God create us?
"Red or Yellow, Black or White, we are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world!"
Join me when Max speaks Saturday, July 24th at Canyon Lake, Texas, 2PM. It's FREE!
Founder, The Church @ Work (TCAW)
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" Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also." - 1 John 2:23
One can call the true God Father when one has truly declared the Son as their Lord. If one has not done this with Jesus, do not abandon them, evangelize them.