Sunday, February 22, 2015

Choosing Sides In NASCAR And In Church Life

I became a NASCAR fan years ago.  A big rivalry in those days was between Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.  Dale was a country boy who was tough, fearless, and known as "The Intimidator".  Jeff was younger, flashy, and wore the rainbow colors.  NASCAR fans were divided over who they supported.  It was a heated rivalry between those who pulled for Earnhardt and those who pulled for Gordon.  Without a doubt, I was an Earnhardt fan.  He was my favorite driver.  And I thought it was incredibly sad when he died on the track at Daytona.

That's how it goes in sports.  Fans are divided over who they pull for.  And they don't care much at all for those who are on the other side.

What's nuts, however, is this somehow happens among Christians too.  People who profess to follow Jesus choose sides and divide into different groups or teams.  And this can get pretty heated.

Think about how Christians choose sides.

I'm into traditional worship.  Well I'm into contemporary!
I only use the King James version of the Bible.  Well I use the NIV!
I'm a 5 point Calvinist.  Well I'm into free will!
I'm for Sunday School.  Well I'm for home groups!
I think Rick Warren makes some good points.  Well I can't stand that guy!

On and on it goes.  People choose sides over spiritual matters like fans at a NASCAR race.  And a fierce rivalry festers.

There's only one problem with this:  We Christians are supposed to be on the same team!  Unity should be what we're about.  We are to be one and working together rather than splintered and competing against one another.

Listen, I know we Christians aren't going to agree on everything.  It's inevitable that we will disagree on a few minor matters.  But that's ok!  As long as we agree on the main things, surely we can unite our efforts and work together for the same goals. 

If we believe Jesus Christ is the world's only hope, the Bible is our guidebook, and God's glory is to be promoted, then surely we have enough common ground to get along and help each other.  When it comes to secondary issues, I think we can respectfully agree to disagree.  But if we can find some room to unite in Jesus Christ, then we can be on the same team and do some great things in this world.

Choosing sides.  It happens in NASCAR.  But let's not let it happen among us followers of Jesus.  We churches would be better off praying and pulling for one another to succeed rather than competing against each other and developing rivalries.

Let's be on the same team.  The Lord's team!  When we kneel and submit to His leadership, we begin to see that we all are a whole lot more alike than we are different.  And it becomes apparent to us that we truly are one family!

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