Diffuse Reflections
Comment 1

A Couple Crucial Characteristics of the Christian Church


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“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;” ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:3

This verse has some interesting omissions. Paul is compelled to thank God for the the Thessalonians because of their abundant faith and brotherly love. Notice however, that no mention is made of the programs offered by the Thessalonian church, no mention is made of their size, no mention is made of their worship style, no mention is made of the inspiration-ability of the sermons. What inspired Paul was simply their growing faith and abundant love.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean that all the things that Paul did NOT mention are completely irrelevant. Rather, the point is that the hallmarks of a thriving church are its faith and love. Therefore,

  • Whether a church has lots of great programs or not, it can be a blessing because of its faith and brotherly love.
  • Whether a church is large or small, it can be a blessing because of its faith and brotherly love.
  • Whether a church has modern worship or traditional worship, great music or no music, it can be a blessing because of its faith and brotherly love.
  • Whether a church has lots of great programs or not, it can be a blessing because of its faith and brotherly love.
  • Whether a church has fire-breathing sermons or scholarly sermons, long sermons or short sermons, it can be a blessing because of its faith and brotherly love.

The core of the church is faith in God (exemplified by works), and brotherly love demonstrated by unity (not uniformity); that is what God is looking for. So let’s not get distracted by things that are of lesser importance.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That yes love one another; as I have loved you, that yes also love one another. By this shall all men know that yes are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” ~ John 13:34-35

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” ~ John 17:20-23, 26

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Multiple Christianities–One Body thou « A Robin Hood's Musing

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