Sure, let’s be friends

My dear, sweet, lady.

I do want to be friends.  I don’t really want to be arguing about things all the time.  It’s just that you make it so hard to do.  It has nothing to do with your heart.  You have one of the most caring, generous and tender hearts of anyone I have ever met.  The problem is that you have constructed a view of the world and of truth based on things you have learned and seen that is — incomplete.  And you are unwilling to be persuaded.  In effect, you’re saying that you have acquired all the wisdom needed, and anything further would be superfluous.

There’s a cultural proverb that says “There is no one so blind as one who will not see.”  That’s you, at least for the moment.  It’s not that you can’t see, it’s that you refuse to.  So the problem is this.  The terms on which you want to be friends require me to make this choice: either I compromise my principles in order to agree with you, or I simply avoid discussions that may get into areas where we will disagree.  In other words, we either have a superficial relationship, or none at all.

Here’s  an alternative.  You could say, “You know, I don’t agree with you, but I can see that you have some very deeply held and well thought out ideas about things, and I’d like to hear more about them, because the truth is important to me.”

That’s hard to do in our culture, because we have a kind of “go along to get along” attitude that’s seen as the most important of our values.  Tolerance is seen as the most important of virtues.  The problem with that is that it’s unlivable.  You may have heard of the Christian couple with a small business called Sweet Cakes by Melissa.  They were absolutely hammered by the state at the urging of the gay community because they declined to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.  So the state, in bending over backwards to be tolerant of the gay couple, became outrageously intolerant of the Christian couple, even to the point of taking their home, their life savings, their business and their livlihood.  The point is that we are all intolerant about some things.  The key question is this:  Am I being intolerant of the right things, or the wrong things?

I am intolerant of politicians lying to the people they are supposed to be serving.  I am intolerant of ideologies that teach people to maim and kill.  I am intolerant of evil.  Tolerance is something you should have for someone with poor social skills (like burping loudly in public), or toward someone with with slowness of mind.  It is not something you should have toward an idea that if believed could motivate one to commit the most vile and depraved acts imaginable.

And truly, I can understand how you might come to view things the way you do.  After all, I was a liberal up until about age 25.  I voted for John Kennedy and later Lyndon Johnson.  But a friend and mentor started asking me to defend my choices, and I gradually came to see some of the flaws in the liberal ideology.  And for that matter, I didn’t become a Christian until age 57!

But here’s the thing.  There will come a day when you will be held accountable for everything you have done in this life.  In fact, everyone will.  And the problem is that no one will be seen as worthy, not even one.  There is no more important decision that you will ever make than the one involving Jesus Christ.  It may come as a surprise, but good people don’t go to Heaven.  The only ones who do are ones that came to God with humility of heart and a contrite spirit and ask for forgiveness for the wrongs they have done, repent of their sinful ways and dedicate their lives to God from that point on.  It is anything but easy to do, but it is very, very simple.

So that’s where this is going.  I don’t care whether you come to my way of thinking on Muslims, or guns, or abortion or anything else for that matter.  There is only one thing needful: surrender your life to God, while there’s still time.

Here’s a good summary.

I hope you’ll want to know more.  This is one thing we can talk about that maybe you don’t have all the information you want.



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