by Mick Schatz
ROSCOMMON, MI – When I was in middle school and high school this seemed like an extremely important question (maybe for some it still is). My friends and I would have friendly arguments stating our opinions and justifying our choices with all the knowledge we had gathered from Popular Mechanics and other such magazines.
Some of my friends were actually car junkies - enjoyed working on cars, knew how engines worked, and could fix various car problems. I knew nothing, but it did not matter I was a Chevy man because it was the best car or truck to own and that was fact!
It’s funny to look back and realize ultimately whatever I could afford became my vehicle of choice. As a kid, divisive issues were questions like Coke or Pepsi, Jeans or Huskies, Dolphins or Buccaneers (I grew up in Florida), Larry Bird or Magic Johnson, and other great life altering questions which I am sure you could add your own. But, as an adult…
Politics, religion, climate change, Dr. Seuss, sexual orientation, Covid, mask or no mask, ethnicity, hybrid or gas, hymns or songs, abortion, vegan or carnivore, social media and on and on. What does not divide us?
Some of these issues are extremely important and deserve to be treated as such so I’m not trying to marginalize them. It just seems more things divide us than unite us. The culture is continuously flooding our senses with opinion and hyperbole. So how do we navigate these treacherous waters? How do we not drown in the tidal waves of rhetoric?
Our culture says turn to psychology, social and political science to answer these questions. Even in our Christian culture timeless truths and Godly values are being jettisoned for more “modern” thought and ideas. We are being told to interpret and discern eternal truth through the lens of modern philosophies, theories and opinions.
As Christians God’s Word is the lens through which we see, interpret and engage the world. God’s Word is the filter through which we sift every philosophy, theory and opinion to see if they hold true. We will never discern truth apart from the Bible and apart from Jesus’ Gospel we will never have reconciliation. Hopefully I’m not setting off any alarm bells that have not already sounded in your heart as a Christ follower. However, we must be vigilant…
We must be vigilant in our God-given mission to share the Gospel and be ambassadors of reconciliation and peace. It’s easy to become so distracted and frustrated with the divisions in our world that we forget Jesus is truly the answer. He is sufficient for the whole of life, every sociological, psychological, economical, philosophical, and spiritual realm of our lives.
Sin is the root of all our divisions-the number one divisive issue in all humanity-but Jesus is the remedy. On the cross, Jesus bridged the divide. Only the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, can redeem, restore, recreate and reconcile that which separates us from Him and each other.
The human heart will never produce solutions to human division apart from Jesus. The answer is simple, living it out is the work. Don’t live in discouragement, defeat or frustration. Stay the course-live the mission-share the Gospel of Peace with a divided world. Jesus is sufficient!
Now, I’m pretty sure my childhood friends are still Mopar fans, but that’s okay because they love Jesus so I’ll still follow them on Facebook.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mick Schatz serves on the staff of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He is the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats and lives at Bambi Lake.