For the past couple of Sundays, our Bible class has been talking about the article in “Faith Journal” entitled “Six Self-Inflicting Wounds of American Evangelicals” (Nov 16, pp. 46-47). This article has convicted us to revisit the teachings of Jesus found in John 13:34-35, “a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” In the Greek language, I learned there are two words for another: another of a different kind and another of the same kind. In this passage, Jesus used the word- another of a different kind.”
The young people, in our community, who talk to me, say that the church is very good at loving another of the same kind, but terrible at loving another of a different kind. This failure to live by the teachings of Jesus has so under-impressed them that they now believe that the church is no longer relevant. They do not see how the church is in a position to make a positive impact on society. Thus, they are disinterested in attending church.
I am amazed and embarrassed that we Christians can be so effective at discrediting our witness before we open our mouths. So, in an attempt to shift this environment, in our community, our church has this “Welcome” printed on the front page of our worship program.
“This church welcomes you no matter who you are, where you come from, or why you are here. We are Christ’s people, and this is Christ’s place with its doors wide open.”
My prayer is that the community will first observe and then experience us loving another (of a different kind) as Christ did and commanded..
ln Christ’s love , Ron