When faced with all the crimes the Church has committed in the past and the present – the judgementality, the bigotry, the discrimination, even the violence – the Christian who doesn’t understand unity will turn to the world and denounce and condemn these “other Christians”, distancing themselves from their works.
But the Christian who understands unity will turn to the world and say, “I am sorry.”
One thing I’ve learnt to be true over the past year or so:
A person’s spiritual maturity is better measured by their relationships with the people around them than it is by how much they talk about spiritual things.
Anyone who would object to the notion of God on the grounds of suffering, should only do so with the knowledge that there exists one religion that conceives of a God who experienced more of that suffering than any other being in the universe, in order to rescue us from it.
If “God” is to be found guilty, then this God must be among those put on trial, as a suffering God is the only God Christians have ever proposed.
“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charities expenditure excludes them.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book Three, Ch.3
When someone has hated you, to see them express love and compassion towards others is always stained with a tinge of disbelief, a dismissive scepticism.
What good is their love for all those people if they refused to love you?
But then you have to ask the same question of yourself.
Counterfeit peace is when something is wrong, but you say nothing, and pretend everything is right to avoid strife in the relationship.
Counterfeit peace is when you value your relationship to a person more than you value the person.
The word of God draws people closer to God, and consequently closer to each other, and consequently again, closer to God.
All of Christian ministry is the practice of making people friends with God, and friends with each other.
It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer – from an un-delivered wedding sermon for his niece
It has come to my attention within probably the last year, the seriousness of the enmity that exists between the Church and the homosexual community – and not just the community, but the lives of individual homosexual people. The relationship between these two groups is at this point in history really quite disastrous.
I’ll illustrate this with a story. After church one night a few months ago, a large group (about 20 or 30) of my church friends and I went to a local restaurant for our weekly post-church dinner. We hadn’t been to this particular restaurant before, and we were all having an interesting time noticing that things weren’t running quite right. Continue reading