In Love. With Church


(system) #1

I realized the Christ I’ve given my life to follow didn’t live the way I do. I tend to follow rules and my church’s tradition. Jesus lived out of his heart and radically expanded his community through Love. Hated races? He placed them inside his circle of Love. Tax collectors? In. Rich? Welcomed. Prostitutes? In. Poor? Absolutely in.

How than shall I live? I who sing in church “To be like Jesus… This goal possesses me!” I’m struck by the idea that I can look at who the religious leaders of my day exclude from community, and choose differently. Gays? In. Muslims? Welcomed. Hippie earth-people who have no use for Christianity? In. As Henry Van Dyke says in Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, “all who live in love are Thine.”

If all who live in Love are already saved, where should I be placing my effort? Certainly, people from various creeds all over the world are living in Love and don’t need conversion. Some who profess Christ live in fear rather than Love and could use conversion. Perhaps all the effort I’ve spent trying to get people to believe like I do would have been better invested in helping people experience consciousness that Love is Universal. It is the energy that created and continues to create the universe.

This doesn’t mean I won’t go to church. Of course, it's not the only way. However, church makes me more excited about sharing God’s Love. “As was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.” (Luke 4:16) As one of the longest-lived studied populations on earth, we Adventists have much to tell most people about one way to live well. For me, church is a wonderful way "To Know Him," and thus radically expand a community through Love.

Doug Wilson plays as a father and spouse, works as a family doctor in a community health clinic, and tries to fully live wherever he is at the time...mostly that's in Napa, CA.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1645

(Elaine Nelson) #2

If this were followed, there would be no need for thousands of churches with lengthier requirements for membership. Living as a Christian, following the example given us by Christ and NOT the multitude of requirements–made not by God, but man. If anything, Adventists have nothing on other long-live groups who are not Adventist, but drink wine, are not vegetarians, and most important, they have close family and friends for support. That i really the secret which has been proved to lengthen a good life.

While “church” should support living lives of love, all churches and congregations do not enhance that experience