Posted by: St. Mark Lutheran Church | September 22, 2012

Coexist or contradict?

Maybe you’ve seen it?  The bumper sticker uses the Muslim crescent, the peace symbol, a symbol for gay rights, the David’s star, the pagan pentagram, the Taoist ying-yang, and the Christian cross to spell out the word “coexist.”  The message?  “Can’t we all just get along since we’re not all that different?”

Last weekend I saw another version that used similar symbols to spell out the word “contradict.”  Written underneath: “They can’t all be true – John 14:6.”

One of my friends on facebook shared this and got some blowback from his friends.  Some said, “Why is it that YOUR truth is the truth?”  “How can you use words written by lots of guys over centuries and reinterpreted by others for their own ends to prove your point?”  My friend did an excellent job of pointing his friends back to the Scriptures, which say plainly, “Jesus is the way,” and “Salvation is found in no one else but Christ” (John 14:6 and Acts 4:12).  He also did well confessing his faith and balancing it with love, gentleness, and respect for his misguided friends.

On the one hand, the world religions can’t get along.  Apart from Christ, such religions are idolatries created by the devil and sinful man meant to obscure the glory of Christ and drag men into hell.  We must state that truth plainly and clearly according to the 1st Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” because “The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked” and is “far from the wicked (Prov. 15:8, 29).

Yet you have friends who follow false religions, and co-workers, and bosses, and employees, and family members.  Do you spend your life forking the sign of the evil eye at them?  No.  The Scriptures say be ready to give the reason for the hope you have, but with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15, which means talking about Jesus, the only way, truth, and life.  Paul says speak the truth in love, Ephesians 4:15, which means talking about heaven and hell.  In Proverbs 15 this week we read that gentle answers turn away wrath (v1), patient men calm quarrels (v18), timely words are good (v23), and righteous hearts (Christian hearts) weigh their answers (v28), which means seeking ways to let the Holy Spirit win the war, and not just each battle.

It’s a fine line, between speaking the truth arrogantly and doing it in love.  But we will always strive to stay on the right side of that line.  We can coexist, that is live without killing each other, but we cannot coexist in the sense of creating multiple paths to heaven and leaving people in doubt of our conviction about the path to heaven.  Only Christ and faith in Him leads to heaven, and that “good news gives health to the bones” (Prov. 15:30).

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on One seminarians journey through Pastoral Formation.

  2. Thanks for writing and sharing how Contradict has been used to share the Gospel message and “point people back to the Scriptures.”

    From your post I couldn’t tell if you were saying that the “Contradict” sticker is not sharing the message in love and in a winsome way? Could I get some clarification.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, go to http://www.contradictmovement.org. The video on that page explains the message behind “Contradict.” The video starts how you ended, this blog, saying that we must “co-exist,” and we must “tolerate” one another, but that these words can’t be mistaken to mean that all religions are true.

    Peace in Christ and thanks for your Kingdom work,
    Andy Wrasman

  3. I have no objection to the “Contradict” sticker. This was not intended to criticize that. My friend on Facebook received criticism for posting it. I can see how some confusion might have occurred.


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