In Tougher Times, Love Naturally Defines the Church

Peace is a blessing from the Lord. Aside from the occasional ridicule that Christians experience from time to time, the Church in America resides in a relatively friendly and peaceful environment. The evidence of this can be seen in where the Church expends most of its energy–divisions. When the Church does not have to worry about hiding underground to avoid being lined up and shot, two things happen to the Church. First, the Church is infested with false teachers and unregenerate converts. When Christianity becomes a low risk lifestyle and social network, people who get invited to church on Sunday might stick around for a few Wednesday night dinners, teach a Sunday School class, and help out with a barbecue fundraiser, all without submitting themselves to King Jesus. Persecution is the refinery of the Church and is extremely effective at removing the insincere. Second, is linked to the first, and that is, divisions in the church become the subject of jokes. So often we find ourselves jesting about how most new churches form from an argument about carpet color, when we should instead be brokenhearted over the disunity in the Bride of Christ–a disunity that is so natural that a church would actually split over the color of carpet.

Even in the innumerable cases where the issue of division is orthodoxy, the greatest teaching and commandment that Christ gave to us is placed on the backburner while we fight and despise each other over minutiae–“Love one another as I have loved you.” While orthodoxy in all spheres is weighty and worth fighting for, no orthodoxy is worth sacrificing the love that we are to have toward one another. And until that fateful day when concerns over carpet and music styles become ash in the refinery of persecution and the tares are removed from the wheat, so long as one names Jesus Christ as Lord, God, and the sole-giver of Reconciliation, we are to love him without question as a member of the Body of Christ.

Categories: Theology

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