Thursday, December 5, 2013

Even Our Adversaries

I recently read an editorial in the Adventist Review written by Steven Chavez titled, Even Our Adversaries.   It made an impression on me and this post borrows heavily from it.

Not long after He had washed His disciples’ feet at the last supper, Jesus spoke to them.  His words are recorded in John 13:35: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”.  His words still challenge us with a nearly impossible goal: to demonstrate our loyalty to Jesus by the way we love and serve each other.

Jesus didn't say that proper doctrine would prove we are His disciples; Even though understanding the Bible is important.  He didn't say that our understanding of Bible prophecy would prove that we are His disciples. Jesus said that people would know His followers by their commitment to love everyone—the lovely and the unlovely.

Aren't there more important things to worry about?  What could be more important than the one thing that shows the world that we are disciples of Jesus?  Apparently it is too much to ask of Christians because by and large we are known much more for those we hate than those we love.

But if loving one another is too difficult, I’d settle for just a little civility from Christians. I’m tired of the incivility in both words and actions among those who find themselves on opposite sides of the many issues facing our country. I’m not asking people to ignore their differences, or that they should not take principled stands; I’m only asking that our conversation and correspondence—both public and private—be done in a spirit of Jesus.

We can disagree with one another without resorting to name-calling, baseless rumors, and innuendo, but we can’t call ourselves Christian unless we love one another—even our adversaries.

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