Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

good church people

12/26/11

Though I recoil from the illogic of church doctrine and its negative implications, I admit that the orthodox church is full of very good, kind people. Having been associated with orthodoxy for a good portion of my life, I have experienced that basic goodness first hand. Many in the church see the goodness, that I recognize, and conclude that the church promotes that goodness in its people. More specifically, they contend that, without the influence of the church's practices and teaching, people would not be kind, trustworthy, and benevolent. That is where I would largely disagree. My conclusion is that the goodness which church people characteristically display exists despite their supposed belief in the church's doctrine of alienation, segregation, and opposition. Instead, the goodness of people in general results from their basic nature which derives from their having been created in the image of God. Now admittedly, some deny their basic nature and behave poorly, but that results largely from not knowing who they are and what they are worth in God's eyes.

Undoubtedly, the church forum provides a mechanism for collective benevolence and mutual support which encourages its members to participate in acts of kindness. However, again I perceive that this promotion of kindness exists in direct opposition to the belief that all those outside the church are wicked, morally depraved, Hell bound sinners who must be converted or neutralized. Either the outsider is to be the target of my love and concern as well as God's, or he is the enemy to be opposed and ultimately destroyed. He cannot be both. When the church engages in kindness, as it often does, it does so in the belief that love is the answer and therefore the requirement. When it rails against outsiders who reject its doctrine and labels them enemies, it displays a double mindedness which denies the transformative power of love and the very essence of Christ.

 

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