Archive for September 2nd, 2007
We seem to be missing a post from this past week (UnWARRENted).Â I suspect that it was accidentally deleted while someone was either fixing tags or categorizing it (or fixing a broken link).Â We will repost it if someone can get us a copy of the original.Â I’m not sure how to rescue what comments were beneath it, but if I can, I will bring those back, as well.
This was no way intentional, and we’re trying to sort it out…
If you are of the persuasion that God alone chooses who He wants in heaven and for some reason that group is miniscule by His own admission, then it surely doesnâ€™t matter what the body of Christ projects to the lost world. In that case any hatred, any vitriol, any malice, any demeaning humor, and any hyperbolic name calling does not hinder the evangelistic effort in any way. That my friends is a very dangerous bus to ride to heaven to find out if indeed some of our behavior actually did turn away some for whom Christ died.
But if you believe that Christ died and tasted death for every man then our behavior before a lost world matters. Eternally. Can a lost person understand the essence of Scripture? Can he understand the Trinity? Can he understand justification by faith? Can he understand any substantive doctrinal issues that are continually revolving around the ecclesiastical neighborhood? The answer is no, they can only be Spiritually understood and that can only come with the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit after conversion.
But one thing a lost person can see and understand is how people interact with each other in love and grace. Jesus Himself gave a new and revolutionary mandate when He said, â€œA new commandment I give unto you, That you have love one another; as I have loved you, that you love one to another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.â€ The lost person cannot see your doctrine, he cannot see your denomination, he cannot see your knowledge of Greek, and he cannot see which theological camp you hold membership in, but by the Masterâ€™s own mouth he can see if we have love for one another.
One news article that displays the repulsive underbelly of the body of Christ as verbal incendiaries are tossed carelessly at other brothers without regard for the collateral damage it may do in the hearts and minds of lost people, just might have eternal consequences. But like a husband and wife so engrossed with fighting they do not even care that their children are now watching, so are some brothers and sisters that are so caught up with their own agendas that they refuse to even consider sharing the same issues in a more civil and even Christian manner. If we have lost love, and not just the â€œtelling them the truth is loveâ€ embarrassing justification, we have lost everything. And not just among ourselves as painful as that is, but the dark world keeps marching to a lost eternity confident that the squalid mess they see in the church family certainly cannot have the answer. You see, they live in the midst of bitterness and hatred and strife, they donâ€™t want to just change uniforms, they need to see a place where the love of Christ is demonstrated, not just listed on a paper creed, but as living deeds of sacrificial love, self denying love, and love that cannot be explained in human terms.
Love that is so supernatural that when witnessed by the world they say, â€œLook at how they love one another, they must be followers of Jesusâ€. Theyâ€™re still waiting to see that love. Can we pray that the day will come, when after seeing the movie the Passion of the Christ, the world exits the theatre saying that the love in that movie reminds them of the love that Christians have for one another? And to remove any apprehensions everyone gets to keep the doctrines they believe while loving each other. Novel, huh?