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The Men of Iron Minute

by Chad Zueck | Director of Content Creation

Annoying Fans


A friend of mine is a Dallas Cowboys fan, and he’s so annoying. He’s a great guy but wears me out with all the Dallas Cowboy talk. This time of year, you can hear him saying, “This year’s team is different. The team’s healthy… blah.” He prefers to lose… I mean, he prefers the Cowboys. Okay, I just showed you my bias against the Cowboys. As you can tell, I root for another team, celebrate my team’s wins and mourn their losses. When my team is playing, I talk at the TV, coach from the couch, and grade players by their performance. I feel like I have a vested interest in my team. My study is well adorned with team memorabilia, so that makes me an investor (or so I think). I prefer my team over the others, and I have for about thirty years. I can be protective of my team, just like my annoying friend. I am annoying too.

You may not be into sports, but I guess that you’re a Christian man (or at least curious). Just as a sports fan can be annoyingly territorial, so can Christians about their church, denomination, style of worship, liturgy, carpet color, and a thousand other things. Preferences have divided so many Christians that it’s hard to tell who we are because we have made enemies with who we are against. That’s annoying and unproductive.

A few months back, my wife and I visited a church service that was very different than ours. Every church has a structure and form, and this church was way different. That said. This little church is light in the darkness, just like ours. They love Jesus just like us, and the Gospel is the main focus, just like ours. We believe in praise and worship to God, and they do too. Sure, I could slice and dice our theological differences, but they are simply well thought out, faith-based preferences in many ways.

To keep preferences from seeping in and cracking the foundation of a faith community, Paul offers these words,

“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval. In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance praise to God.’ ” Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. Romans 14:1-13, NLT[1]

 

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[1] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ro 14:1–13.