Ok. I just looked it up. It was 1960s Tareyton Cigarette smokers. Now I remember. Each smoker displayed with pride a black eye as a trophy of loyalty.
Jesus asks Christians to love one another. As His followers we prefer to criticize, slander, and question motivation and loyalty. We would rather fight than switch to loving each other.
The truth is I have great problems accepting the ideas and biases of others. It is easier to like people than to like what they think. I don’t argue with someone over his eye color. I argue because we disagree.
I can’t figure out why others can’t interpret scripture the same way I do. Certainly, I can’t understand why my cherished doctrines seem to others as if they are no more than my biased pre-suppositions.
As one who has sat in church pews for 66 years and who hesitates to admit to having known a gazillion more insiders than outsiders I am aware of the major lines of criticism aimed at believers. It is hard to find new and original darts. I think I have heard all.
Most criticism is so far removed from the cross I should be super careful not to allow it to break bonds with fellow Christ followers.
Jesus is a minimalist who demands all.
To be a Christ follower I must accept the atonement of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection to cover my sin. In the Acts of the Apostles every person who did so immediately had their sins removed by entering into the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus through water immersion.
Through baptism, each new believer received the Holy Spirit. The Spirit aided the new life to grow into the likeness of Jesus.
That is the description of the church of the New Testament. It is a minimal description demanding everything. I ONLY have to live under the rulership of King Jesus.
Am I more acceptable to God because He has given me 66 years to grow while you may be 30 years behind me in age and experience?
Why all of the fighting? Why can’t I accept a fellow Christ follower based on his or her response to the atonement of Jesus?
Is it possible my disagreement with others is over what I believe rather than over who people are and what Jesus demands?
Stay tuned. – Gary Sorrells on Cross Church