“We who used to value the acquisition of wealth and possessions more than anything else now bring what we have into a common fund and share it with anyone who needs it. We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies.”
I will probably get slammed, but here it goes.
What Justin says, I can amen and say so does my church of 100 – 200 people — which is probably what Justin was experiencing and speaking of. My church we are all kumbaya, we have a budget surplus and give where we can. As far as welcoming the ‘foreigner’ our church population doubles each winter as we welcome the winter visitors for 5 months from all parts of the cold upper Midwest and Canada.
Who are the “share it with anyone who needs it.”? Those in the church? The general Roman community?
I think he may be speaking in the more local sense and not saying how the universal church lives in great harmony with each other and with the surrounding pagan communities.
But I could be wrong as we don’t have much context with the quote.
I guess what I am saying is that I live in a community of perhaps 40,000 that expands to 55,000 in the season along with 1,000s of boating type vacationers. We have 50 churches in town and I see no strife or in fighting. Everyone does what they are called to do. Lutherans usually work with the charities and relief organizations that are all ready in place in the community and many others have their own ‘christian’ charities.
Even the JWs sit quietly along the boat channel at the London Bridge each morning waiting on folks to take their literature.
Does anyone here live in a community where the Christians are at war with each other? I didn’t even see that in all my Orange County years.
My takeaway from this account is how the generosity of God in Christ led to the
Christian community being more inclusive and generous to all. Sharing vs. hoarding.
It depends on how much weight you put on media, social and otherwise, as a barometer of how we feel about each other.
I think Justin is simply reflecting the attitude of the early Christian community, which grew and helped to form a Christian identity. “Behold how they love one another” was not said by Christians about themselves; it was said by those outside the Christian community who witnessed their life as a community. By the fourth century, Julian the Apostate complained that Christians did more for the poor than did the State. There’s much we still have to learn from the example of the early Church…
I for one think that the church out does secular / pagan society on a voluntary basis in charity and relief work. We pay our involuntary taxes to support society – build schools and hospitals.
During the Japanese Tsunami and the hurricanes in Texa, Florida and Puerto Rico people were amazed how quickly the churches mobilized and had boots on the ground.
I do not lose sight of these marvelous works by the body of our Lord Jesus Christ just because some pastor’s clothes fall off with a woman not his wife or a pastor demands his followers supply him with a $50 million jet.
The American church is fabulous at meeting the needs of others.
What happened was, at least to some extent, Manifest Destiny. God gave us this land, and by God, we don’t have to share it with anyone if we don’t want to. (Not saying I agree with the concept.)
I have to agree with MLD on his comments. In my community, if one asks any homeless person, transient, poor person, or traveler, they all seem to know where to go for help – churches. The state is also making it harder to get cash aid, food stamps, and the like. Local churches also are offering workshops and/or assistance in regards to free legal aid, jobs, and immigration help.
In regards to the world’s perception of Christians, I believe the scriptures say that the world is gonna hate us. And as one could say the world is in charge of the news and such, they don’t publish much in a favorable light of Christianity. And as it should be, there is not a bunch of self-promotion of our good works – He knows and that’s what matters most.
Yay! Able to post again.
Post check & amen to Duane’s #5.
And a new gravatar test…
Wonderful words… wonderful Gospel.
Our inflated public presence makes it impossible to know how that looked on the ground. If your Christian community existed contra mundum existence hanging in the balance this might be more understandable as it is we are connected by thin strata of dogma and relational tatters. We hunger for better. It may come only at terrible cost.
Apathy resurged, anger and mephitic speech were given a platform, a backdoor, an avatar. That’s what.
Why stand upright in the inner man when you can tweet nastiness from the comfort of your toilet?
The church doesn’t believe in the power of God’s Spirit
Apathy resurged, anger and mephitic speech were given a platform, a backdoor, and an avatar.
Why stand upright in the inner man when you can tweet all the crap you want from the comfort of your toilet?
Oops, sorry. Now you see the train of thought never gets out of the station 🙂