Let me preface this with a simple declaration – I am not Roman Catholic. I am a Christian, and I believe that the term “catholic” simply means universal. So the catholic (universal) church is different than the Roman Catholic church. The catholic church includes all denominations that believes in the saving power of Jesus.
It has been revealed that the Pope has met with Kim Davis. This is the same Pope that encouraged the Roman Catholic church to be more welcoming towards the LGBT community. The meeting apparently surprised a lot of people. A lump of people seem to think that this shows an inconsistency in the Pope’s ideology. It doesn’t. That is because for followers of Christ, ideology is actually intertwined within theology.
Christ changed the game when it comes to loving people. He didn’t command people to only love those who loved them, but He set the bar higher. “Love your enemies…” Now, this is not taking sides with any one person or the other in the Kim Davis situation. I just want to point out the significant calling on those who follow Christ. If Kim Davis follows Christ, she is called to live in this way. If the Pope follows Christ, he is called to live this way. If I follow Christ, I am called to live this way.
I don’t label people I do not agree with as an “enemy.” There aren’t very many people I know personally, if there are any, that I would label as an enemy. There are people I don’t really care for a whole lot. I think the use of the word “enemy” is extremely strong and important. Because if there is a spectrum of friends and enemies, Christ just laid all of the cards on the table when he said, “Love your enemies.” The spectrum becomes a point of personal conviction as I label people in categories, and to be honest if someone makes me uncomfortable in a category, I withold love. God help me.
It also bears noticing that it is not possible for anyone to meet this standard apart from God. We can’t. Our hearts are way too selfish. We are too prone to believe that our ways are right and everyone elses’ is wrong. Even when we relate to God, whether we really believe in Him or not, we tend to believe our ways are right. Make no mistake, His ways are higher than ours. Our perspective is horribly limited. The reality of the culture that many of us, especially in America, live is that everyone is holier than thou. The microscope is out on both the left and the right. If you don’t fall in line, then you are thrown under the bus.
I can say one thing for certain, Jesus offers freedom from this kind of living. He offers freedom from living under a microscope. He provides the example and the strength to offer a truly unconditional love to others, and when we fail to do so, He also opens the door to forgiveness and reconciliation. He accepts us for who we are as we are, and through this acceptance through His death and resurrection, we can be in a restored relationship with God. That is the beginning. He will lead us to change, but He doesn’t wait for us to change when He calls us. He just simply says, “Come, follow me.”