You’ve probably seen the navy blue bumper stickers with the word “Co-exist” on them. They work little symbols for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity into the word with a cross for the “t”, a star of David for the “o” and the crescent moon for the “c”.
But what does co-exist mean? According to our old friend Webster, in regard to people it means “to exist in mutual tolerance despite different ideologies or interests”. Got it.
On the surface, it seems really loving and relevant to just “live and let live”. But is it?
As a woman convinced of the fact that Jesus proved he is God when he got back up after he was murdered, I also believe that there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12). The Bible says rejection of Jesus is rejection of heaven.
But all religions point to the same God, right? No. They really don’t. Following the teachings of Buddha, or Mohammed, or the Bhagavad Gita will not bring anyone to repentance and faith in Christ, which is the one and only place to receive forgiveness of sin (because Jesus said so and since he can defeat death, I’m sticking with him).
So, really, if I believe that with my whole heart and I subscribe to the “co-exist” mentality, my attitude is actually “live and let die”. (Cue James Bond music). That doesn’t seem so kind and loving anymore.
It is not okay to be passive here. In Matthew 28, Jesus told us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. All nations.
You all know I get heated when Christians act ignorantly towards anyone who doesn’t think like they do. This is different. It’s not bashing, or shaming, or judging. This is written with the utmost respect and love for people from all cultures, religions, and ideological systems.
This is the simple fact that there is one truth and his name is Jesus.
I don’t want to just co-exist. I want to cross the dividing lines and initiate friendship and conversation. I want co-mmunity . Hmm. The word unity is in there. Cool.
So, with love I pray for opportunities to share the hope I have without being intrusive or demeaning. I whole-heartedly believe that without respect, there can be no fruitful conversation.
I have so many beautiful friends from all over the world who do not yet have peace with God through Christ. I pray they would seek truth. I pray the words of God would be a balm to their souls and that He would bring them close and whisper His love and salvation to them.
God, give me your heart for reconciliation and the words to speak life to these people you love so passionately. Let me be your outstretched arms of welcome and acceptance. Let me remember to pray for missionaries all over the world and for those right here in our city. Thank you for rescuing us and continuing to rescue us, God. I love you.