When I was ordained as a Salvation Army Officer my older brothers gave me a used car for my ministry, a small Volkswagen that served me well for all the travelling in the city of Rio de Janeiro. At times it looked more like a van because of all the people carried or like a pick-up truck for all the stuff moved around.
Money was scarce in those days and taking too long to change the brake pads, I had to down shift the gears and then use the handbrake (parking brakes) to stop de car. Imagine driving for two months in the aggressive Rio traffic under those conditions! Although I always enjoyed speed, I learned the basic lesson that for effective driving you need both, the accelerator and the brakes.
In the life traffic of our days there is much intolerance and radicalism. If you demonstrate any sympathy for the women’s rights you are called a feminist, but if you question it you are called a male chauvinist. If you show respect for homosexuals you are called a gay activist, but if you don’t you are called a homophobic. If you see something positive in syndicates you are called a communist, but if you rebuke it you are called a Nazi.
Each social movement has its own history, its own strengths and weaknesses as well as its positive and negative aspects. To have an informed opinion about them one needs to really get to know them. To disqualify others just for thinking differently labeling them with extreme tags doesn’t favor the healthy dialogue or the friendly coexistence.
Jesus left us an impressive example of how to live. He attended all places and interacted with all people without prejudices. To expose himself to others didn’t change his identity or mission, quite the opposite, it helped to strengthen it. He influenced others because he loved them, the same will happen with us.
(In all places with all people, Mathew 9:35-36 – Healthy dialogue, Colossians 4:4-5)