Remember in school when you learned all the rules. Do you also remember that there are exceptions to rules; like -i before -e except after -c.?
Leviticus, the third book of the Old Testament, contains the laws; including dietary restrictions and rituals of worship, as well as details of ritual cleanliness. Many fundamentalist, people who believe in a strict adherence to the Bible, follow these laws. They live by the rules. Now, that sounds like a very reasonable thing to do; but is really?
In Acts 10: 9-16 Peter is told in a vision to not call anything impure that God has made clean. Now understand that Peter lived by the rules of only eating food that has been cleaned according to the law and now he is being told to eat this food that God has made clean. The story continues in verses 17-28 when Peter is ask to go to a Gentile's house. Jews viewed Gentiles as unclean . For Paul to enter Cornelius home he was saying the he would not call any man impure. Paul was living by the exception to the rules.
The choice is the same for us. Will we be bound by the rules of being friends with people who believe just as we do or will we be more interested in the exceptions. It is not always easy to lay down those rules that we have spent a life time following, but isn't that exactly what God is asking us to do?
I have to believe that God is up to something, and that I should ere on the side of grace. So ask yourself; are you the type of person that lives by the rules? Or are you the type that lives by the exceptions?