I’m surprised at some of the comments I receive when I quote someone who, for one reason or another, ruffles someone’s feathers. It’s usually not the actual quote that creates the problem. It’s the person’s name at the end of the quote. Someone exclaims, “How could you possibly quote _______? I thought you were a Christian! Don’t you know what they believe?” In most cases, “Well, yes. Yes, I do.”
Quoting someone doesn’t mean I agree with absolutely everything that person has written or said. In fact, it’s not even possible for me to know all of that. Even people I disagree with on the majority of their opinions have some important, even truthful, things to say. I think it’s important to find common ground. Accepting one thing doesn’t mean I accept everything. (In a similar vein, I have never agreed with absolutely everything a political candidate has stood for, but I still voted for someone. And I’ve heard the same response: “You voted for WHO? Don’t you know what they said, did, thought, hinted, promised?”)
Anyone who quotes me surely doesn’t agree with, or even know, everything I’ve said. Even if that was possible, I’d sorely disappoint them when I opened up my thought-bank and let them dig even deeper.
We are supposed to discern who and what influences us, but we are not to live insulated or isolated.
If guilt-by-association was of monumental concern, Jesus wouldn’t have hung out with the sinners as much as He did. After all, He is the only person who ever lived without sin. He was confident enough to know that His truth was stronger than their influence.
We need to avoid situations in which we are weak and easily influenced by deception and false teaching. But when we’re rooted in God’s truth, we’re going to be able to sift through what is good and what is not. A firm foundation allows us to be exposed to some harsh elements without being tossed by the wind.
Invest in deep roots, then trust God to hang on as you explore and impact the world around you.
I am not praying
that You take them out of the world
but that You protect them from the evil one.
They are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them by the truth;
Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I also have sent them into the world.
I sanctify Myself for them,
so they also may be sanctified by the truth.