Monday, October 12, 2009

Coexist

I saw this bumper sticker the other day. It says "Coexist" but the letters are symbolized. They stand for Islam, Buddhism, Science, Judaism, Paganism, Wiccan and Christian, respectively. The dictionary defines coexist as "to exist separately or independently but peaceably, often while remaining rivals or adversaries."

I am all for peace! And I believe that we should love our fellow man (and woman.) But what else does the bumper sticker imply? That we should exist together and leave each other alone, leaving everyone to their own opinion?


What does the Bible have to say about that? Romans 12:18 says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." I think that is crystal clear, don't you? Peace with everyone.

1 Peter 2:11, 12 says, "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." Here we are clearly doing more than "coexisting." No, we are to be an example to the others, that they see a difference among us as Christians. Are you living your life as an example to the world?

What else does the Bible say? Matthew 28:19, 20 says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." The verbs here are go, which is an action word, and make, another action word. We are to be making Christians of all nations. Not by physical force, but by this dictionary definition of make, "to convert from one state, condition, category, etc., to another." Convert. We are to be making Christians from other beliefs.

While "coexist" has a worldly warm-fuzzy feel about it, I don't believe we are called to simply coexist living parallel lives as rivals. I believe we are called to live peaceably and honorably, sharing the gospel, praying for them, and teaching them, that they may know the Lord, like we do.

What do you think?

Chatty Kelly


30 comments:

Bonita said...

This is so true, Kelly. We can be at peace with our neighbors, but we also need to care enough to reach out to them with the word of truth.

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Good morning, Kelly!

Oh that bumper sticker always makes my heart sick when I see it. Peace, compassion, grace, mercy...yes yes yes yes indeed!

More than one God? More than one Way? No.

I appreciate what you are sharing here!

So thankful He gave us only one way! He has made it clear for us! "Narrow-minded" in this case gives us life!

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

SusanD said...

Hey Kelly, I've seen this bumper sticker too, but hadn't given it the thought you did. Thanks so much. I appreciate the time you took on this. Have a great week. Blessings, SusanD

Sue J. said...

There's a lot behind this bumper sticker! Apparently, there is a museum in Jerusalem that originated the Coexist exhibition, which is a showcase of murals. The original artwork for the exhibition ('Coexist') did not contain all of the symbols that the bumper sticker you have here shows. Someone decided to expand on the original artwork to include those other religions.

Even in looking at the story of the Coexist murals, the curator's point of view is that of having differences put aside in deference to living together side by side--in other words, not crossing any lines with each other's ideas [doctrine] for the sake of peace.

When the Lord told His disciples to live in the world, but not be of the world, He was expecting them to hold firm to His Word and His love. We may not be involved in anyone's conversion, but if we accept a word other than the Bible to use in our faith and practice, then we are not following our Lord's directive--and that should be a problem for the Christian.

Perhaps this bumper sticker should be a call for prayer behind the wheel!

Lisa said...

So true! The Bible is clear that wide is the gate and narrow is the path. We cannot rest until everyone know that only Jesus saves!

Julie Gillies said...

I've SEEN that bumper sticker, Kelly. And I'm all for peace, too. But at what cost? Ignorance?

I'm grateful that LOVE never fails. Like Bonita said above, when we reach out to and love our neighbors, God's love becomes real to them. And His truth will make them free.

Thought-provoking post!

Diane said...

I've seen that bumper sticker too and initially it does seem innocent enough, but I definitely agree with your thoughts that I can't ignore it's go with the everyone is right mentality. :O)

Heart2Heart said...

Kelly,

I agree with your definition of Coexist! I don't think Christians should be tolerant of lies and differing beliefs but hopefully others can be won over simply by acting our lives in accordance with Christ.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Greg C said...

Kelly this has been in my thoughts a lot lately. I am all for "live and let live" and getting along but what do I do when I see someone heading down the wrong path? I mean I am by no means perfect (none of us are) but I see people following these "new religions" that say things like; "Anything is ok as long as you don't hurt anyone else" and it makes me cringe. I am compelled to say something and just hope it doesn't start an argument.

Sandy said...

I had no idea what this bumper sticker meant, though I've seen it. We have been so indoctrinated in our culture with "tolerance" that we as Christians (myself included) have not followed Christ's directive to GO & MAKE disciples; we have neglected to speak of God's love for everyone & His desire that none should be lost forever, but that the ONLY way to God is through Jesus Christ; and we have neglected to live in a Christ-like way, loving those who don't believe in Christ enough to show them His perfect ways AND to tell them about Him. Satan has deceived us into meekness/weakness. This really challenges me to get out, speak up, show love, & pray more for those who are deceived by false religions. Thanks for the wake up!

T. Anne said...

What a timely post! My husband and I were just commenting on that bumper sticker. It truley is born of ignorance.

Tammy said...

I've seen that bumper sticker before but didn't even pay attention in what is said.

Coexist we must as we speak the Truth with peace and compassion.

Mocha with Linda said...

There are tons of those bumper stickers in this very liberal city. Yes, we can be at peace in the sense of not being obnoxious. But that doesn't mean validating and accepting their beliefs as true.

Even Jesus, the Prince of Peace, said in Matthew 10:33 - "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. He brings peace to all who trust in Him, but He brings conflict between those who do and those who don't.

Great thoughts.

Edie said...

I agree. The fact that Jesus said "if it is possible... live at peace" clearly shows that it is not always possible.

Jesus also said "and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." That is action as well.

B His Girl said...

Exactly what you said sister! B

HisPrincess said...

Agree with you wholeheartedly Kelly. I'm all for living peacefully, BUT, coexisting just sounds like complacency to me.

Lea said...

Speak the truth in love.
I couldn't agree with you more Kelly.
And I can't help but think... the term is COEXIST. But who wants to merely exist? I want to LIVE!
And the truth does set us free!
Live peaceably with others, but not by compromising ourselves.

KelliGirl said...

Kelly,
Deep thoughts from you today. I loved the way you traced the logic and revealed the truth using the Bible verses. You eloquently voiced thoughts I'd had when I saw that bumper sticker.

Blessings!

My ADHD Me said...

I agree with you completely.
Reminds me of the old bumper stickers that said "Make Love Not War".

I think that God would love for us to coexist peacefully but not that way. Remember what we tell our kids. "You will be judged with the company you keep".

My ADHD Me said...

BTW, I just read Sue J's comment. Are you sure she isn't a walking concordance, encyclopedia and dictionary?

(That's the first time I was ever able to fit concordance into a sentence.---ever since you taught me what it means)

My ADHD Me said...

OK, me again.
It looks like I am the only one out here that hasn't seen that bumper sticker.
I'm going to have to look for it. Nope, actually, I think I'll just keep my eyes on the road.

Laurie said...

What they really mean is coexist and don't say anybody else should change or live up to any standard or something is right and something is wrong. That bumper sticker so bothers me. Tolerance to everyone except the Christians, who believe in One way and living up to His standards! I appreciate you writing a post about it and your insights.

Susanne said...

I think the same as you. It's funny we just had a very similar conversation just yesterday.

Fruitful Harvest said...

I saw this bumper sticker the other day too.
Ecoist is what I thought it said...you know for a greener world? (the car drove off before I could figure it out!) LOL
But when I just typed the word it got typed as ecotist...hhhmmmmm?

I wonder if it was a christian that was compelled to display the sticker on their car?

I am a christian and think though God does what us to live in peace together....not nessicerally in agreement with all those other guys. Some Christians think shoveing The Word down someones throat is the answer. Making them see the truth of GOD!
Living in peace (while gentley) spreading God Words and truths speaks volumns about Christianity and living as a Christian. What do you think?

Blessings,
Georgiann

Ronel Sidney said...

Amen.

LisaShaw said...

Kelly, I have seen this bumper sticker and had the same Biblical perspective you have written.

Amen!!

Raye Ann said...

As a Messianic Jew I say AMEN!!!!!

Where would I be if everyone believed we should just COEXIST. If someone had not shown my relative the way to Christ before I was born I would have had an upbringing believing in God, but denying the Messiah.

Blessings
Raye Ann

Martha said...

I see this bumper sticker EVERYWHERE in my hometown and I just cannot envision Jesus putting his arm around a Wiccan and telling him, "Hey lets just coexist! You do your own thing and I'll do mine!" God does not "settle" for peace, He is a mighty lion and He calls for us to follow Him. Some will be offended and reject Him, and some will gladly obey because we want Him to live within us!

I love this post!

Yolanda said...

I've seen this bumper sticker here on Maui for years. And I've pondered it....Lord is this right? Co-exist, but today...today....I see that it is wrong. I read your post and Kelly, thank you for sharing this. Lovingly, Yolanda

Irritable Mother said...

I think you're right on, Kelly.
Seems to me God is more interested in having us live at peace with Him and with each other, than He is in the "I'm OK with you believing whatever it is you want to believe" warm-fuzzy-meaningless coexistance that bumper sticker seems to proclaim.