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?