This world has decided that every disagreement between people has to escalate and end with division. We’ve lost the art of conversation, overpowering it with the art of debate. We yell our opinions, take sides, and fight over everything. While social media by no means began this behavior, it has certainly exacerbated it until the great crime of our times is to not choose a side on every topic.
Currently in the ECC, that topic is homosexuality. Though it seems to be an old argument as far as the society around us is concerned, for the ECC it is the current issue and threatens to split the denomination in ways that arguments over atonement, baptism, worship styles, and women in ministry didn’t. As always in our society, the ends of the spectrum of beliefs on this issue are building battlements and shouting insults at the other side, while the majority of people in the middle become collateral damage.
Today’s text has something important to say to those sides. While Joshua contemplated the battle ahead, God’s chosen people vs. the city of Jericho, he is met by The Lord. And his first question is the same one we all are asking when we ponder this debate over homosexuality, or any debate within churches. “God, whose side are you on? Are you for us or for our enemies?” Hear the answer from God loud and clear, people.
Neither? How can God be on neither side of this debate? How can God not be won the side of those who follow His laws and obey His word? How can God not be on the side of those who humbly welcome and love people the rest of the church wants to judge? How can God be on neither side?
Because God is not on sides and in fact hates the division that “side” language causes. God is in unity, and humility, and dialogues, and learning, and loving, and obedience, and peace. To think that God in on one side and yet there are still two sides is to doubt the very power of God.
If you want to be “with God” on this or any other issue, then you need to stop trying to defeat the other side and instead love them, pray for them, listen to them, and allow them to follow God obediently in their own way. When we can stop trying to control the debate, then we can let God be in control of it.