I was at a University of Georgia football game with a big fat fist inches from my face. It belonged to a drunk muscle-y frat boy and it was itching to go through my head. He thought I had spit on him.
I’m pretty sure I hadn’t.
Like, really sure. When the spit allegedly landed on him I was three rows below and walking away from him. But that didn’t matter to Captain 10-Beers-Before-10AM. I was going to have a substantial dent put in my skull.
It was a dire, desperate moment for me. And I will never stop being amazed at what resolved the issue.
A friend of mine ran up the bleachers and simply repeated “Hey man, Go Dawgs- Go Dawgs, man. Go Dawgs. Go Dawgs.” My friend had only reminded Hulk that we were all there for the same reason and Mr. Angry Eyes was soon high fiving and hugging both of us.
All it took was reminding everyone that we are all on the same team.
I gotta be honest, I really wish I could do that with a lot of young Christians in my life. Look, I’m sorry you feel like I’ve somehow spit on one of the minor details of how you process your theology, but can we pause and remember that we are huge fans of the same thing?
I’ve been telling myself that I haven’t been writing because I’ve been too busy. But that’s a lie. I’ve been reluctant because when I offer up my opinion, I tend to attract fundamentalists who disagree with me. Really I guess it’s not me so much as… well, let me give you an example:
I could write about a book I enjoyed or even a certain verse I got a lot out of. I would pour my heart out about what I’m learning, sharing my thoughts with believers, seekers, and non-christians alike. Usually, for someone, this merits a response that looks a lot like this: “I would be careful following (this author or this train of thought) because it might lead to you becoming the anti-Christ.”
Or at least that’s the sentiment.
For a while I was eager to battle this particular brand of opposition. I loved telling folks who called themselves Christians how wrong they were. But then I had a shocking realization- I was being a hypocrite. I was arguing with “Christians” for arguing with me for not being Christian enough. Crap.
That same week I read in Ephesians that believers should make every effort to maintain peace with each other. This idea seemed like an unscalable wall to overcome. But I couldn’t just tell God “No.” I had to try. The following day I had lunch with a friend of mine with whom I’ve had a lot of doctrinal disagreements. We made peace. Honestly it was a lot easier than I thought. I just had to remind both of us that we were on the same team.
Look, I’m a raving fan of sharing the gospel. I’m absolutely nuts about bringing in the harvest.
We are all going to pick the wheat up a little differently, and I suppose that’s ok.