In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:16
Does God want us to be good and nice and fair to others? Of course, how we treat others is important, but it seems to me that reducing God’s plan for humanity to the lowest common denominator so that there is nothing controversial (or exclusive) about Christianity denies the faith.
How do we understand the world? It wasn’t that long ago that I sat with some friends who all would identify as Christian. They summed up their own faith in much the same way as is described above. They preferred to focus on simply being a good person. That’s enough. When I challenged them about the claims of Christianity and some of the other world religions, they were surprised and questioned why I wouldn’t be more inclusive. While I wasn’t as eloquent as C.S. Lewis, I attempted to remind them of his statement:
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
It is critical that we live out our faith to those around us. When asked about what commandment was most important, the second part of Jesus’ answer was that we “should love your neighbors as yourself.” But, we are out of line, if we ignore the first part of his answer – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
Is it possible that we value one half over the other?