Should Christians Choose or Take Sides?

chooseIt seems quite natural for Christians to choose sides. In fact, it’s almost assumed that they will.  Verses like “Choose you this day whom ye will serve…” (Joshua 24:15), “Come out from them and be separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:17), and “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don’t touch anything that belongs to them…” (Numbers 16:26), seem to suggest that it’s characteristic of believers to choose sides.
 
[Us / Them], [Right / Wrong], [Evil / Good], [Liberal / Conservative], [Democrat / Republican], [Caffeinated / Decaffeinated], the list goes on…
 
The “either/or’s” take precedent over the “both/and’s” and the church becomes multifaceted, but not in a good way.  “Sides” themselves become the right and wrong etc.  Where you come down on the latest cultural issues or ecclesiastical distinctives determines whose side, or which side you’re on.  
 
Many times, the idea or act of choosing sides places the church so far out of reach that it can not effectively engage “the other side” to bring about Kingdom change.  Evangelism becomes more about winning people over to your side than walking along side Jesus.  The difficult place of neutrality, or “not taking sides” is ridiculed as cowardice and sooner of later becomes the enemy of all sides.  
 
A few questions:
 
    1. Did Jesus “take sides?”
    2. Do Jesus’ followers need to “choose sides?”
    3. What criteria should Christians use to “choose sides?” 

0 thoughts on “Should Christians Choose or Take Sides?

  1. Marshall says:

    Two nights ago at a fellowship gathering, I was asked to choose a sports team between 2 national teams that were playing against one another that evening. Although I made it known I should not be taking sides, a team was chosen for me by proxy.
    Within the darkness of a man’s lonely heart emerges an inclination to pit men against one another in contest to win stature; a higher lesser godhood. When distant from the Almighty God, human minds seem to venture along like the Gamesters of Triskelion. If a good contest cannot be found, why, we may even wager against ourselves! (such as the United States seems in their leaders today.)
    To invent the next contest, some manner of deception or injustice must be rendered, as exampled from Luke 12:13-15. Most of the “great” theological controversies have been sustained in this manner. These have long been contest that leave men restless because they have been built by way of altering and/or masking what becomes the “missing piece” for resolution.
    Evangelicalism has thrived on the game, piling up millions of false conversions (since the early 20th century) in competing sectarian head & dunk counts. This Jesus and His disciples never did.

  2. Carlos says:

    There seems to be a perspective gaining ground in Christian circles that its okay for everyone to believe differently on all kinds of issues.

    I find that perspective to be utterly repugnant. Akin to wishy washy relativism where nothing is absolute and everyone is okay and we can all get along filled with lovey dovy sentimentality for one another.

    Jesus didn’t operate that way.

    For Him there was truth and there was falsehood. Darkness and light. Good and evil.

    Either you were for Him or against Him. Either you heard His voice because you were one of His sheep or you didn’t. You were either doing the right thing by God the Father or you weren’t.

    You couldn’t sit on the fence with Jesus and play both sides of an issue.

    That doesn’t mean every issue is either right or wrong. True or false. Nor that we should take sides on every issue there is to take sides on but it does mean that we should take a stand for truth in line with His heart on a given matter no matter who thinks otherwise or what the consequences.

    Carlos

  3. David Woods says:

    Wow! So you DO understand me Miguel. Whodathunkit?
    “The enemy of all sides”–that’s me.

    BTW-Caffeinated before 12:00 Noon, Decaf after 12, if at all (only on special occasions).

    • David Woods says:

      Look, within Christiandom, if it’s something people regularly argue about, it’s obviously because Scripture isn’t 100% absolutely CLEAR on the subject, so why should WE try to be?

      We’re not gonna figure God out, it’s just not gonna happen. Some questions, He just didn’t answer in Scripture, and some things He didn’t make clear, because He wanted us to come to HIM for the answer instead of running to His book, trying to figure it out for ourselves, and then running around with our noses in the air thinking we’ve got it all figured out, and telling everyone else how WRONG they are for interpreting the Bible the way they do.

      I’m sorry, he just didn’t sanction that attitude in Scripture, And anyone who takes that attitude is already automatically wrong in my book, right from the get-go, just on the attitude alone.

      God is sovereign, not us, and if HE left a subject open to His interpretation to each individual according to each circumstance, then so should we.

  4. Kevin says:

    A fascinating passage on this is when Joshua met the man with the sword before going to take Jericho. “So whose side are you on, ours or theirs?” “Neither, but as Captain of the Lord’s army I have now come.” Woe. What? Your not on Israel’s side? No, this person wasn’t. Whether it was an angel or a Christophany doesn’t matter- God is on His own side. It would seem that as much as we can we need to show in these discussions that ALL humans are on the outs, and only in Jesus and His redemption do we have hope. But… I don’t know what you do with a soccer game- smile and choose based on some reason no one else would? Like best fans, or coolest uniforms? The underdog? 🙂

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