Thoughtful content from Dr Gary Shogren

So: you love the Church…

[You are encouraged to read the original post at Dr Shogren’s blog.]

…but are indifferent about the people in it?

Dr Gary Shogren

In John’s language, “hate” is necessarily anything so vile as loathing, or despising, or cursing – “hate” is not-love, that which short of perfect love. In other words, “Whoever claims to love God yet does not love some brother or sister is a liar.”

We cannot fancy that we love the church as an abstraction, but fail to love some particular brother; at no time has God allowed that formulation.

Only the Trinity can see at a glance the full body of Christ, marching from antiquity to the kingdom; yet even God sees his people always in the concrete, and never as an abstract. We don’t want to be just a number on a page, and God agrees.

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20 NIV

For us there is no body of Christ which we are invited to love as an idea, but always and only in the immediate, the concrete, the personal.

Large-crowd-of-people-0143

 


Copyright Gary Shogren.

Gary has a PhD in New Testament Exegesis. He serves as Professor at Seminario ESEPA, San Jose, Costa Rica. Visit his Blog at Open Our Eyes Lord

Share