Friendly Fire

Philo once said “Be kind, because everyone you know is fighting a harder battle.”

I like that saying.

If you don’t know, Philo was a Jewish philosopher during the time of Christ who tried to unite Plato with Moses. He even referred to Plato as the most holy Plato. I would say that this is certainly a great quote from him, and it is sadly one that the modern-day church needs to learn.

James Stewart once said about the uniqueness of Christ that no one ever said such red hot words about sin, but no one was ever so kind to sinners. Unfortunately, we seem to have those reversed at times. We love to condemn sinners relentlessly at times and show how righteous we are.

Here’s something to consider. If a Christian is living in sin and seeking to change, they already hate what they are doing. You don’t need to pour salt on their wounds. Now if they are saying “I’m living in sin and I don’t care” then I would say that is a time of tough love. The person who is contrite though is already shamed and doesn’t need more.

Unfortunately, this problem isn’t just with sin per se. There are several in the church, and many times I’ve been one of them and chances are you as well, who will not tell what is going on in my personal life to the church. Why? Because you’re not sure if you can trust them. The altar can seem like an intimidating place when you realize people will start “prying” instead of praying when you go up there.

Friends. My concern is that if we cannot go to one another with what is going on in our lives, then who are we to tell the lost that they should do the same. Why should the lost believe in a church community that loves one another as Christ loved us if we do not share that love to one another?

Instead, we are told to encourage one another. Jude tells us to be gracious to those who are suffering.  We encourage one another as long as it is called today and build one another up for righteousness. Are we really doing this today? If we’re not, how can we say we’re practicing Christianity? How can we say that we are living as Christ called us to live?

We more often act like Job’s friends. When someone has suffering in their lives, we start trying to find out what sin is going on in their lives. When someone comes forward with doubt, they are told that they are not being spiritual or Christian. What nonsense! The Job idea is one idea in the Bible that God personally says is wrong and yet, we still live with it!

The church is our family. They are our friends. If we cannot unite amongst ourselves, we cannot unite for the good of the world.

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