On an average day everyone seems to be trying to convince me to make a commitment to a particular brand. It’s either Apple or Samsung, MacDonalds or KFC, Ford or Holden, SGIO or Bupa, Eagles or Dockers.
On a religious level there seem to be as many brand expectations: Baptist or Anglican, Calvinist or Arminian, Fundamentalist or Liberal, Pro Choice or Pro Life, Creationist or Evolutionist.
And the lists go on…
I was sharing at church on Sunday about paradox and my view that in life we don’t always have to make a choice between one extreme or another. On many occasions it is quite alright to accept there are two points of view and that they are both valid in their own way.
That is not to say that we can avoid making a decision and happily sit on the fence on everything. Rather, I think there is a place for us to investigate and study the options, come to the place where we understand the differences, then hold both sides together.
The healthy approach is when we come to a viewpoint of our own, but are still prepared to hear the other side and allow someone else the right to argue and defend their point of view, without animosity.
I’m convinced that Jesus is the only way by which we can find peace with God. However, I know there are many people who figure there are other ways to know God, and some who don’t even believe there is a god.
As a Baptist, one of our fundamental beliefs is the freedom of religion – that is the right of everyone to practice the religion of one’s choice or no religion at all. This means that not only should I listen to what someone else says and respect their right to believe what they believe, but I will also defend their right to have that belief.
And since I am prepared to defend a person’s right to believe what they have chosen, I deserve the right to share my viewpoint with them.
It’s interesting that in a free country we are increasingly being told that we are being discriminatory if we express our viewpoints.