SACRIFICE AND RELATIONSHIP
TAKING JUSTIFICATION BY WORKS SERIOUSLY
Is it not telling that the pagan Emperor Julian once complained of Christians in the fourth century:
"These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes...Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. See their love-feasts, and their tables spread for the indigent. Such practice is common among them, and causes a contempt for our gods."
What if we were accused of the same today, that Christians not only fed their own poor, but the pagan poor as well, stealing converts? What if we showed the gospel to be carrying a cross, in all its difficulty of putting others' needs above our own, rather than showing the gospel to be a sales offer?
If our gospel has been reduced to "accept this offer, its a good deal," then have we missed the fullness of the gospel? What does the community here think about works and the gospel?
Monday, August 25, 2008