A week or two ago, when Dave prayed at the close of the worship service at our church, he said something like, “God – thank you for the love that is in this room.” It made my day. That’s what should be here – always. Love is something that Christ expects to go beyond this room, beyond our church fellowship, and even beyond our Christian circles. As followers of Jesus, we’re to imitate him. That means loving as he loves.
How well does the Christian church do that?
I was reading Meic Pearse’s new book, Gods of War this past week and came across something that interested me — so much so that I blogged it. Pearse is writing about the issue of how religion relates to war and he says this….
Although much of the history of Christian churches is disgraceful in that their creeds have been stained by bloodshed and spread by violence, the churches did not begin that way. For the first three centuries of its life, the faith of the Prince of Peace was spread entirely by pacific means, usually in the face of violent persecution. ~Meic Pearse in The Gods of War, Intervarsity Press, 2007. p. 58.
Have you ever thought of that? The early Christian Church didn’t have any social or political power. So the early church grew simply by receiving Christ’s compassionate grace and sharing it with others. Early Christians didn’t force people to convert. That would be unheard of. Early Christians didn’t have the power to boycott or start letter-writing campaigns. They didn’t vote.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t vote or write letters. Rather, I want to extol the superiority of love and compassion. The early Christians simply…
- …loved God.
- …loved one another.
- …loved their neighbors as themselves.
They simply followed the example of Jesus. The love of the early church was a reflection of the love of Jesus. This podcast addresses this reality and helps us learn to do the same.