We are in an age where there are great and deep divisions in our society. Politics, or rather partisanship, is one of those divides. People in different parties see the people in the other party as an existential threat to the nation. And that’s not an exaggeration. Loyalty to party has taken a key place – above many other things. At least that’s the perception.
Religious divides are treated in a similar way – especially within Christianity. The divide can be classified as Evangelical/Fundamentalist vs. Progressive. And in many cases one’s faith is tied directly to one’s political ideology or party loyalty.
I have heard many say that they don’t recognize the Christianity of others who see the world so differently from themselves.
Some question if they should try to continue to convince those that are so very different. Some express frustration that their fellow Christians don’t seem to be open to hearing a different way of seeing things – they seem to be firmly entrenched in their beliefs with no room to budge.
I understand this mentality and thought.
The question is this – can reconciliation actually happen with those who are intent on division, fear, and a heavy concern for being right – regardless of what the topic is? Reconciliation requires both parties (people) to desire to come together, to offer forgiveness where it is needed, and to seek a new start. What do you do when someone has no intention of that? What do you do with someone who is only interested in defeating you and your way of thinking?
You wipe the dust off your shoes and move on. There is no sense in wasting energy and effort on someone who has no intention of developing or mending a relationship. That doesn’t mean you bad mouth someone. You just move on and move forward with the building up of the kingdom of God with those who are willing to building and mend a relationship with.
Trying to convince someone of something they have no openness to is a waste. Sometimes the best way to love someone, which is what we are called to do, is to let them go and move on without them.
Having said all of this, the invitation is always there for renewal in relationship. The invitation must remain open for reconciliation. The invitation for mending should remain. And we continue to pray for healing. We continue to pray. We continue to move forward.