What am I for?
I am for religious freedom.
I am for the rights of children and the sanctity of marriage.
I am for grace.
I am for welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry and helping those in need.
This means what I am for will at times bring me into tension with others who are for different things.
I will be in tension with those who would want to deny religious freedom or practice a faith characterised by coercion.
This means I will not agree with proposals which impact children now and into the future.
This means I will not embrace legalism or a fundamentalism which objectifies others and denies them the opportunity to know the love of God.
This means I am against policy which sees every alien as a threat, and denies those who have been persecuted or oppressed a safe haven in our land of plenty.
What do we do when we hold core convictions which are at odds with others?
A quote which is doing the rounds on Facebook speaks poignantly to this.
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies.
The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them.
The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.
Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
What or who I am I for?
God, who whilst we were still sinners died for us.
I am for God who sees the value and significance in all people, irrespective of whether they choose to follow Him. I am for the God who challenges us to think differently, whether it be on relationships, money, or morality. This is the God who also loves the Muslim, who loves someone who is gay, who loves the legalist, the orphan, the widow and the refugee. This is the God who loved me before I loved Him.
One of the challenges I face is how do I become known for what I am for, more than what I am against? Is my voice loudest when I am angry or frustrated about the way things are going, or is it loudest when I am applauding the grace, generosity and love of God? Am I moved to action more when I protest that which offends me, or more by injustices that offend God?
One of the questions I suggest we must all wrestle with is when I look at my life, how does it communicate what I am for?