Thursday, May 16, 2013

Are we as counter-cultural as 2nd century Christians?

“They share their table with everyone, but they don’t share their bed with everyone.”

This little description of 2nd century Christians has been preserved in the Epistle to Diognetus, an ancient document that gives us a feel for how the Christians were perceived in their early days.

This little description is as counter-cultural today as it was then.

We have "liberals" who share their table (think health care, social services, etc.) and their bed (think sexual license).

We have conservatives who don't share their bed (think sexual restraint/morality) but don't share their table (think conservative policies that let the rich get richer and the poor, poorer).

Those who believe in Jesus, however, should be different. 

We do have moral standards we honor. We do submit to the authority of God's Word. I don't have "freedom" to do whatever I like, with whomever I like. 

And yet, I believe in Jesus who died for the undeserving (Romans 5:8). We were all "poor in spirit," bankrupt with no means of pulling ourselves up by our own moral bootstraps. We were a charity case of the most pitiful kind. Jesus didn't teach us to fish. Jesus didn't make us come halfway before he gave us grace. Rather, Jesus did everything. He lived the life we couldn't live and then died the death we should have died. This good news makes anyone who believes it committed to sharing their table with anyone in need. There is no such thing as "deserving poor" or "undeservering poor." There are just people who have needs...and I'm here to meet them.

May our generation of Christ-followers be known as our ancestors were: “They share their table with everyone, but they don’t share their bed with everyone.” 

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