Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More on the "true" church

Trueblood takes off the gloves in this section. He comes out with some hard-hitting observations...

They [those who judge the validity for a “true” church of Christ by ceremonial aspects] are still pre-Christian in their assumption that membership in Christ's true Church is limited by external performance.—Company of the Committed, page 95

Not content with that observation, he twists the knife when he observes:

It is paradoxical, indeed, that each of the criteria which is popularly supported is concerned with something which Christ did not propose, while the criterion which He did propose seems not to have become the battle cry of any organized group. His own piercing words are: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). This sentence must not be taken alone, for Christ gave other commandments, such as the injunction to witness, but no sincere Christian can fail to take it seriously. It may not indicate the sufficiency of love, but it at least indicates the necessity of love. We know, then, whatever else we know, that the unloving fellowship is an heretical fellowship, so far as Christianity is concerned. How strange, in the light of the Biblical insistence on love as the principal thing, that we have emphasized it so little in comparison with other elements.—Company of the Committed, page 96

<idle musing>
But it is a hard command! It is easier to make rules and regulations, gates and fences. How are we supposed to know who is in and who is out? No, we want our own version of christianity, but thank you for the offer, God. And then we wonder why there is no power, no love, no transformation...
</idle musing>


Anonymous said...

On another blog (imonk?) a commenter shared the observation of one priest that we are christian in so far as we love our enemies. period.

Joel and Renée said...

Good reminders! -Renee