Why I Can’t Just Learn to Get Along

Why fight the current paddling upstream when it’s so much easier to turn and go with the flow?

Because some of us want to go to a different place, some of us are in a different place.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

By Dr. Ray Rooney, Jr.

Reprinted from American Family Association

 

The question is often asked, “Why can’t we all just learn to get along with each other?” The simple answer: “Because we are not all wanting to go to the same place.”

It’s as simple as that. It’s analogous to going to an international airport where aircraft are continuously landing from other cities and nations and taking off to go around the world and saying, “Why can’t we all just get on the same plane?”

The answer is so obvious that it makes the question itself patently ridiculous.

“Why can’t we all just get along?” Because I want to go where the Word of God is exalted and extolled. Maybe you want to go where the Word of God is given a wink and a nod. She wants to go where she is exalted. He wants to go where hedonism reigns, and they want to go where the Word of God has been banished. Everyone on that journey believes (rightly so) that the others are intentionally hindering their travels. As an evangelical Christian, I believe it is sin to walk my path silently as the others are headed to destruction. They all believe it is just as wrong to attempt to shepherd them onto the path I am on.

Creationism implies one set of values and standards. Evolution implies another very different set. Those who are strict constitutionalists have a very different vision of America than those who believe it is an evolving document. Some churchgoers believe kindness will get you to heaven while others believe only being washed in the blood of Jesus is salvific. Some denominations ordain women as pastors while others wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing. Everyone is certain that their beliefs are vital to both the present and the future.

As far as I can tell that pretty much answers why we can’t all learn to just get along with each other. But I think we all know that question is really just a façade for the real question. When people exasperatingly ask why we can’t everyone just learn to get along with each other what they are really asking is “Why can’t you just board the train and go where everyone else is going quietly?”

My response to that? Where in the Bible am I ever encouraged to keep the will of God for humanity to myself? None of the prophets kept their dissenting views to themselves. As a matter of fact, the “watchman” passages of Ezekiel 3 and 33 make it very clear that if one does not warn the wicked of the consequences of their sins their blood will be on the watchman’s head.

Jesus didn’t hesitate to aim barbs of criticism toward those whose views were contrary to the will of God:

Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying’? (Matthew 15:12).

I couldn’t find the apology that Jesus issued when told He had offended someone. And if the apostles had believed that getting along with everyone was what God wanted, then none of them would have died martyr’s deaths, would they?

It would be nice if everyone could all just get along but in looking at both history and experience nowhere do I find that’s ever happened for any length of time. It would be nice if militant Muslims would learn to get along with all the Christians in the Middle East (and the world for that matter) but they have made it clear that capitulation is the only thing they will ever accept from Christians. So what do we do? Nothing? And the heads literally keep rolling.

It would be nice if President Biden and the radical progressives (the Squad) would just get along with the Republicans in Congress but there doesn’t seem to be any shadow of that happening (nor the reverse). So what do we do? Nothing? While our constitutional republic is being trashed right under our noses?

It would be great if those pushing radical sexual ideologies (transgenderism, gender reassignment surgeries, biological males competing against females in sports, gender fluidity, pronoun nonsense, etc.) would just stop the stupidity and recognize the rules of basic biology…but they have no intention of letting it go. They are writing curriculums for schools, pressuring lawmakers to codify their sexual confusion into laws, and are even in leadership roles in our government. Do we just let them pull the rug out from under society and watch it burn in the name of tolerance?

It is the absolute height of callousness and selfishness to suggest that while sin and darkness grow in influence and severity that the “Christian” thing to do is keep silent in the name of tolerance.

The church in America has become the priest and Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). We are stepping over or even going around those who have fallen prey to sin and sinners. We don’t want to be bothered by the inconvenience. We don’t want to pay the price of dealing with the aftermath of sin’s encounter with our neighbor. We look at the man fallen among thieves and tell him he should have just tried a little harder to get along with them. It wasn’t their fault they turned to crime. They were either born that way or were shaped by their environment such that taking what isn’t theirs is their only plausible recourse. He should have gone with the flow and maybe they wouldn’t have beaten him. He should have simply handed over, without complaint, everything they demanded of him.

No, if getting along with people means learning to ignore the devastation of sin in the lives of those around me then you can count me out. If being accepted by culture has supplanted being obedient to God then I don’t suppose that I and culture are going to be getting along very well.

You know, the God-wants-everyone-to-be-nice crowd loves to cite “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” from the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:5) as their proof text. It’s interesting that 5 verses later Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for there is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). So the meek get earth while the persecuted get heaven. You can have the earth. I’ve been there. I’ll set my eyes on the kingdom of heaven. Even if it means paddling upstream for the rest of this life.