Posted by: the warrioress | February 2, 2012

The Great Divide

Friends

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I interact with a lot of different people in real-time, online, through blogs and forums, and through this blog. Many of these people are not believers in Jesus Christ; they are not “saved.”

Many of these people are atheist, New Age, Islāmic, Catholic, Satanist, have faith in other religions, or simply call themselves “non-religious.” Some of the people I interact with are spiritual but don’t believe what the bible says, as I do.

Unfortunately, there is often what I would call a “great divide” between myself and these people within my mind, if not theirs. It’s because we are living our lives based upon a different way in how we perceive of  reality. This can be challenging when it comes to communication, insight into one another, and the ability to create a friendship. It can make it hard to find things in common with each other.

When I’m able to find even a little space to meet in the middle with those whom I differ, I often feel like celebrating because I feel as if we’re finally really “connecting.” I am able to feel closer to them. I sincerely like and care about these others with whom I differ, regardless of their spirituality or lack thereof. When I look at the behavior of Jesus Christ, I recognize that Jesus was able to love and interact with people whom he had very little in common with. He ate dinner with tax collectors and prostitutes; these “sinners” were often his companions.  His own disciples didn’t understand and questioned His behavior.

I think being able to truly love others is imperative if we’re going to ever get their respect enough to even begin to discuss our faith with them. And I believe that the non-believer in Jesus Christ knows who really loves and respects him and who doesn’t; he recognizes who is sincere and who is just mouthing platitudes. People were drawn to Jesus when He walked this earth because He was/is real. There is nothing fake about the love He had/has for them. 

Old Friends, New Friends

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We have to be the same way with others. We have to be able to cross that great divide somehow. We have to meet others where they live, not peer down from lofty Christian perches and think that we will somehow be able to break through. We are to be in the world but not of the world, but this doesn’t mean that we should be so far removed from the world that we can’t even relate to other people anymore. How does someone witness Christ Jesus if they can’t even communicate with another person who doesn’t believe?

I love connecting with others, despite our differences in what we believe spiritually. I like to find ways that we can connect. This connecting makes anything possible, and even if we never connect spiritually speaking, I want the people whom I love, who don’t believe, to know that they matter to me deeply. I want them to know that they are admired and respected, and that I value their acquaintance or friendship, even if they don’t believe in the same way that I do.

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Responses

  1. >> “We are to be in the world but not of the world, but this doesn’t mean that we should be so far removed from the world that we can’t even relate to other people anymore.”

    So true! I also have real communication with non-Christians, including atheists, agnostics, wiccans etc. In fact, I would have to say that some of these people put Christians to shame with their honesty, integrity, sincerity and other good attributes.

    While we do not participate in their worldly actions, we do not shun them because of a different belief. IF we are living as we should live, allowing Jesus to live His life in us and through us, being ‘in the world but not of it’ we will see Him at work, drawing others to Himself.

    Yes, it is a great divide which separates, but our amazing God can break down any barriers.

  2. Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.

  3. Thanks, Meeting. I look forward to having a look at your blog and sure appreciate you sharing on mine. Blessings.

  4. Thank you, WJ. I appreciate the comment.

  5. I too have many friends and associates who aren’t Christians; their associations are important to me. I agree that many of them show more integrity, kindness and honesty than some of the Christians I know. I think I might have to draw the line with the Satanists, though…

  6. Dear Warrioress, I enjoyed reading your post very much. I think focusing on what unites us is what we all need to practice. I studied and tried many a spiritual teaching over the years, I preached with Baptist missionaries, I prayed in Russian Orthodox churches, where during service women stand on the left and men on the right and they are not allowed to cross the line and mix (speaking of divides), I chanted with Buddhists, I learned Hindu mantras. I still do all these things, except for preaching and going to the RO church. Although I do not belong to any organized religion, I am a believer. I believe in our Lord, Jesus Christ, even though I don’t remember when was the last time I read from the Bible. I also practice mindfulness and compassion, and a painting of the Buddha (painted by my own hand – definitely not a masterpiece :-)) that I can see from my desk is a constant reminder of these virtues, as well as the noble truths of impermanence and emptiness. It also reminds me that nirvana and samsara are just a matter of perspective; and although there is suffering, we do live in the world full of wonders, and it is not broken, never was, never will be. What needs fixing is our individual and collective models of reality that we assemble and re-assemble every moment of our lives. The only thing that really divides us is our ignorance. In my mind there is really no “great divide.” In a sense we are all within God and we are all one, regardless of our faith, be it a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu. And if there is love in our hearts, we are saved.

  7. […] In response to a blog post by Warrioress […]

  8. Written with insight providing food for thought. Nice job!

  9. I think there are good things within most people if we’re open to looking for them. Jesus saw these good things first, I think. I hope I can be more like Him. Thanks for commenting here, Struggler. I enjoy your posts a lot and will stop by your blog soon.

  10. I think when we have shared our faith with another who does not believe, at that point, we must accept the individual for who he or she is and find a way to go forward in our future interactions. Continually hammering at them and attempting to force the differences seems ..awkward. I think that searching for common ground is the wiser course, though I don’t think we should ever compromise our own beliefs in order to connect. We can find places that we can agree, however, and experience connection with others.

  11. Thanks, LeRoy. (hugging)

  12. Thanks, Puddle!

  13. Great post!

  14. I agree with you and the Struggler in that difficulty
    of loving hard-nosed atheists and crucifying Satanists.
    I am often reminded of a quote that rings true to my ears,
    even though I feel guilty for practically believing it.

    I speak of a famous writer from the near past – D.H. Lawrence.
    “He who forces himself to love another,
    creates a murderer in their own body.”

    How does one remain true to themselves and true to God simultaneously?
    I think it’s by realizing the ‘normal’ divide that exists within ourselves.
    Somewhere along the line, we become the judge who rules the 2 me’s.
    Eventually, we become the judge that marries those two together;
    those two who so rightly deserve each other. God has a sense of humor.
    That’s why we shouldn’t take ourselves, or others, too seriously.

    Who me? Uncle Tree (Yes, me2)

  15. Great advice, as usual, Tree. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting here.


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