Many people today, in the name of interfaith and multiculturalism, misinterpret the “Love thy neighbor” command of the Bible (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39). Instead of helping unbelievers embrace salvation through Jesus (thus obeying the Great Commission Jesus gave us to make disciples, teaching them to obey him – Matthew 28:18-20), they embrace whatever non-Christians believe. They adopt a policy of “live and let live.” They think that there are many ways to reach God and that perhaps Jesus is also among other paths. This deliberately devalues the uniqueness of what Jesus said: “No one can come to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). Such an attitude or interpretation is an obvious indication of breaking the Covenant with God. In fact, it amounts to spiritual treason on the part of those who call themselves followers of Christ. Such views and behavior desecrate the Divine Truth and actively encourage others to do so as well, thus paving the way for eternal destruction. (1)
Jesus commands us to love one another as He loves us (John 13:34). If God is impartial and loves us with impartiality, then we need to love others with that same high standard. Jesus teaches in Matthew 25 that whatever we do to the least of His brothers, we do to Him. If we treat a person with contempt, we are mistreating a person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.
Malcolm Gladwell authored a secular marketing book entitled Tipping Point. A tipping point is when an idea, product or movement becomes accepted by the masses. Gladwell says "It is the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, crime waves, or unknown books becoming bestsellers." He says ideas, products, messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do but he has discovered there are usually three types of people involved in the marketing process for this to happen. He calls them connectors, mavens, and salesmen.
Connectors are people with a special gift for bringing the world together. They know lots of people who have an ability to make impact.
Mavens are people who accumulate knowledge about a particular area. They are information brokers who like to get information and share it with others to help solve their problems.
Salesmen have an ability to persuade when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing. They are critical to the tipping point for word-of-mouth epidemics.
I believe these three people correlate to the apostle (connectors), often defined as "one who is sent"; the prophet (mavens), defined as 'one who proclaims truth" and the evangelist (salesmen), "one who wins the lost" - all described in Ephesians 4:11. (2)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV
Atheism cannot be proven, and God’s existence must be accepted by faith. Obviously, Christians believe strongly that God exists, and admit that God’s existence is a matter of faith. At the same time, we reject the idea that belief in God is illogical. We believe that God’s existence can be clearly seen, keenly sensed, and proven to be philosophically and scientifically necessary. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4).
But anyone who's committed to living a godly life must be willing to stand alone and face ridicule or even persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). At other times, we consent to activities that violate our conscience just to avoid conflict, but peace at any price means we have to sacrifice obedience to God.
However, the temptation to compromise doesn't always originate with others. In fact, James 1:14 says we are tempted when we're carried away by our own lusts. How many Christians have fallen into sexual immorality or pornography by desiring a second look? Greed is another motivation that drives us to compromise. If you fudge on your income tax or take a few things home from the office, you've stepped over the line of obedience to God. Our choices should be based on scriptural truth, not on our feelings and desires.
In order to stand firm against compromise, we must make God's Word the standard for our conduct. If you begin each day with the Lord in His Word, He will guide your way. Then when the Spirit gives a warning, obey immediately, because giving consideration to the temptation opens a door for Satan.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6)
The Lord gives us all the ability to rise above the things that limit us. If we will only lean upon Him, He will give us the will and drive to succeed in every situation. His power can be our power when we call upon His holy name.
(1) Jesus to Muslims , Dr. Steven Masood, www.jesustomuslims.com
(2) Tipping Point by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.