Love that lives in harmony
Society creates life styles and rules (legal and illegal) that affect an individual’s integrity. These “social rules” are frequently in disagreement with God’s rules.
In the time of the apostle Paul, slavery was an accepted social rule and it was legal. In the experiences of Paul, Philemon and Onesimus, we see how the gospel begins to revolutionize the status quo with a very practical concept of unity among the individuals of that particular time.
More than eighteen centuries has to pass in order for western society to abolish slavery and to make this divine wish a legal norm. In the United States, only fifty years ago, government made a rule to guarantee equal right s and opportunities for people of any race, sex and belief.
But hostile attitudes are stronger than regulations. There are still people who act with discrimination against other individuals simply because they belong to a different ethnic, racial, cultural or religious group. Christ strongly demanded unity among human beings, but at the same time he planted his love in people’s hearts so that we may live that harmony.
—Rev. Eduardo Montoya
- Are you applying the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself to your life, especially when you deal with people from other cultural, ethnic or religious groups?
- If you disagree with someone else in your congregation about his or her ideas, does it mean you are destroying the unity of the church? Why? Why not?
- In what ways can you associate the unity of the church with Christian stewardship?
How Do I Act
- Contact someone who represents a racial, ethnic or cultural group different from the majority of your congregation. Invite them to your Sunday school and worship service. Invite them in some forum to share openly about their experiences of rejection because of their differences. Encourage the person to suggest actions for the church to take in order to facilitate a relationship between people that are different from you and your church.
- Collect newspaper clippings with reports about racism, and discrimination or reverse discrimination. Reflect on them. Analyze them from a Biblical and Christian perspective. What kind of suggestions would you make to answer concerns or solve problems?