As I was listening to a local Christian radio call in show on Friday. The host of the show had been talking about wine and the practice during those times of diluting the wine with water. Shortly after that, a woman called in and says....
"I just can't picture Jesus drinking a glass of wine...". It was then explained to her that the only one the Bible mentions that didn't drink wine in Jesus' time was John the Baptist who had taken a Nazerite vow. She just couldn't accept that.
I think that this is an excellent example of how our cultural "baggage" colors our beliefs and reading of the Bible. In some respects, we have adopted a belief saturated with relativism, not truth. God tells us that his truth is absolute.
So here is where grace comes back in. God gives us the truth of his word in the Bible but there are many people who won't accept that truth, on only accept parts of his truth. Then there are others who have taken that truth and twisted it around until just a little remains, the rest is a great lie. What should our response be to those people.
I suggest that we have a practice of "grace", from the post below, the best description I can come up with is "A temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.".
Why? Because as a follower of Jesus, I am told to. I John 4:7-8 (The Message) reads:
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love--so you can't know him if you don't love.When asked what the most important command was, Jesus replied:
"The first in importance is, "Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.' And here is the second: "Love others as well as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these." (Mark 12:29-31 - The Message)So, what is the point here? I have rambled a bit but I think it is as follows:
- Have the courage to pray for truth and accept the truth that God shows you
- Challenge your cultural presuppositions against the truth of Gods word, The Bible.
- Love those around you by giving them grace when you don't agree with them.