Why it doesn’t matter that Christians differ on evolution, homosexuality, guns, politics…

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Ask me what I think about any of those things and I’m probably too quick to tell you what *I* think… But what I often forget to make clear is: even though there can be important issues behind these things, it doesn’t really matter what Christians think about these things.  “Why the heck not?” someone asks.  Because whereas other religions are about having the right morality (you must worship Allah like this, and not HaShem like that, grrr that makes God angry), and many religious factions are about “being right” (atheists are convinced Christianity can’t be true because many Christians today don’t believe in evolution – that’s like believing your accountant knows nothing about taxes because he thinks Miley Cyrus is the name of a new constellation), Christianity isn’t about being right about one particular issue, or religious code…  Christianity isn’t even about morality – you can be perfectly moral without religion.  Instead, Christianity is about Sin and Redemption, a God who sacrifices Himself for people, so that sinners can become sons.  

That means you can believe the world is flat, and still be a Christian.  You can even pray the wrong way and still be a Christian.  You can believe something that Jesus disagrees with – and still be a Christian.  Because the core Christian belief is that you’re not saved because “you” are so good or wise, or because of anything that you’ve done…but that you’re saved because of what Jesus has done.  Taking our sin on the Cross, and making us children of God.

God doesn’t expect us to know everything perfectly and be right about everything…  A good father doesn’t look at his child and disown her for being different, or not agreeing with everything, or skinning her knee in the playground.  Whatever is imperfect in her, she’ll grow and learn and learn to walk better.

In the same way, Christians WILL learn to think like God when it comes to guns and science and homosexuality and money and culture and career and television and prayer…and everything…we’ll know more and understand things better later.  Hopefully we get far in that direction (the direction called holiness) while we’re still in this world, but if not we’ll see more clearly in the next.  And before you accuse me of defending the wrong beliefs of Christians – consider for a moment what humility this would instill for those who believe this!  Regular people get open minded and change their minds, rarely, only when they have to.  But a Christian seeking God’s mind is an active participant, trying to understand, trying not to make God look bad (although sometimes we fail in that), seeking His mind, seeking truth.

Related posts:

  1. C.S. Lewis on Evolution
  2. Real Christian Politics
  3. How can Christians believe in evolution?
  4. Pick a side…
  5. The Bible, evolution, and Gay marriage…
  6. A salute to dorky Christians
  7. what’s the matter with ideas?
  8. Why I debate with people about God (and why I sometimes shouldn’t)

5 thoughts on “Why it doesn’t matter that Christians differ on evolution, homosexuality, guns, politics…

  1. It’s definitely tough not knowing every single answer and I know I’m still full of wrong ones but I’m thankful for a God who loves us despite our imperfectness! I truly believe that as long as we continue to come before Him and seek after His heart, the answers we are looking for will be revealed to us.

    Hope you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas with Grace and Momo!

  2. this seems to conflate christianity and salvation. one might say it doesnt matter what you think about homosexuality, gun control, evolution, and the rest with regard to being saved. nonetheless christian belief traditionally understood includes “non-core” or non-salvific beliefs. your title is too strong a claim; its only true that differences on these issues dont matter if the only thing that matters is salvation.

    • Hey Snowdenn, A big “YES” to that last statement… as a Christian, I do think the only thing that matters is connecting with God.

      But when talking about “traditional Christian belief” apart from the core theological beliefs (about salvation), the question is “whose” tradition? Coptic Christian tradition? Early Chinese Christian tradition? African Christians? Eastern Orthodox tradition (which is the oldest of these)? I think they tend to have different beliefs about many cultural things… Most people think only of white European church tradition as “the church”, because that’s how we’re taught… But there were actually Christians in Africa (famous ones like St. Augustine) and China (Nestorian Christians) before there were Christians in most of Europe.

      Anyway – I get your point though. I think you’re saying that these things: gun control, laws concerning homosexuality – that they matter. And I agree. But I think some things matter more than others…

      • thanks for replying. i dont mean to be difficult, but from your initial post and your subsequent comment, it seems like youre trying to interesting at the expense of being accurate. for example, take your comment about salvation:

        “I do think the only thing that matters is connecting with God.”

        unless you are redefining terms, “salvation” and “connecting with god” are not the same thing. one might connect with god by certain kinds of prayer that arent necessary for salvation. am i splitting hairs? i dont know. it seems to me, when you trade in “salvation” for “connecting with god” you are choosing language that sounds better. but at the expense of clarity. for what its worth, i think connecting with god is more important than (and includes) salvation.

        moreover, i think its misleading hyperbole to say connecting with god is the only thing that matters. more accurate (though less sensational) to say its the most important thing.

        as for traditional christian belief, your litany of traditions makes my point: that “christian” is a wide net that covers all sorts of persons and all sorts of beliefs. clearly many non-salvific issues were considered very important in church history.

        so to say that these non-salvific issues dont matter at all is false. to say that they matter less than salvation is something thats not as contentious. but it seems like you are saying the former while meaning the latter. saying something that seems really interesting, but really meaning something thats pretty uncontroversial. if you take a moment and look at the first and last sentences of your reply, you should see the contradiction i mean.

        again, my intent isnt to be difficult. but as im sure youre aware, theres a lot of debate right now about where christians ought to stand on gay marriage. to throw in a sensational “it doesnt matter” when you really mean “it doesnt matter as much as salvation” seems like an unfortunate contribution to the already complex and confusing discussion.

  3. I don’t think homosexuality should fit into this topic. I totally understand what you are saying but the bible clearly points out that homosexuality is a sin. There isn’t any way to distort that or make up an idea on what sin is. It’s written as plain as day in the bible. Now when it comes to guns and politics, that is a different story. But evolution and homosexuality go against God in every way. Evolution tries to prove that God doesn’t exist and homosexuality goes against the natural design of God for humans. Please let us not excuse ignorance and sin.

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