Wednesday, December 19, 2007

love one another...?

I honestly don't mean to keep commenting on the postings of Pastor Buck. I mean, I really have nothing against the guy. He seems nice enough. I think he is genuine (what ever that means). But since I really only read two Christian blogs, and since his church is in my community, I guess if I am going to respond to the words of a church leader, may as well keep it close to home.
Below are his word from a recent post to his blog, and my comments will follow.

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” (I John 3:14)
If I were forced to choose just ONE verse that best describes our church family, I’d have to go with John’s description the Christian life. For John, LOVE is one the defining factors that you’ve truly been saved. Love evidences the fact that what we have is the real deal. . . it evidences the fact that we have truly passed from death to life!
I don't know. I mean, I give out of love to those I love. My family, my friends, I give to them out of my love for them. How can I do that if I am not a Christian?
I just don't understand how Pastor Buck can read a bible verse, such as the one above, and completely ignore the FACT that born again Christians are not the only people who love, give out of love. Read the verse again: “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers." I love my brother. I love my sister, my parents, my kids, my pets, my friends. I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN! How can it be that I love people?

Out of all things for which I am thankful about our church family (and there are MANY!), what touches me the most is the love of Christ that fills our fellowship. You don’t just talk a good game, you live it. You genuinely care about those inside and outside our church family, and it shows, repeatedly.
Over the past couple years I have attended Pastor Bucks church from time to time with some friends. I can count on one hand the number of members there who have come up to me and started a conversation with me. I am largely ignored. I am not ugly, I don't stink, I am not mentally handicapped or emotionally disturbed, but I am rather introverted. It is difficult for me to put forth an effort to make new friends. But once a person approaches me, I am friendly and can be conversant.
I can think of perhaps 4-6 people, members of the church, who have actually made an effort to talk to me beyond the tepid "good morning, how are you..." So, can anyone describe to me this "love of Christ" he is talking about?

The bottom line, you guys are the real deal! I love serving Jesus with you and I truly see Him in you! In John 13:35 Jesus summed it up in a single sentence - “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”
Oh, I can see it. I can see them "loving one another", but I do not experience any of that love. I mean, what does a person have to do, be a member in good standing for 36 months before he or she fits in?
What I experience in Pastor Bucks church, is the exact same thing I experience or have experienced in every other church I have ever visited, or been a member of. Pure and simple - Human Nature. Some people are genuinely caring and compassionate. Some are not. But most will fall in the middle.
It doesn't matter if they are Christian or not. It makes no difference. And this is the chief reason that I find no reason, any longer, to believe in the Christian God. Christians do not, in any way, display any evidence that they have been motivated (transformed) by a supernatural being. What they do display, in their attitude and approach toward their close friends-vs-people they do not know, is exactly what you would expect to see in any group, club, church, gathering, etc. If you are their friend, you fit right in. If you are not their friend, you are largely ignored. And believe me, I have sat many a Sunday in Pastor Bucks church and been completely and totally ignored. Do I hold that against them? Absolutely not. As I have stated, it is human nature. What I do protest though is the largely held Christian belief that they, (and THEY all pretty much believe THEY are the "they") by reason of their faith, have been transformed. And that as a result of that supernatural transformation they now display such a love for all humanity.
The news is, THEY don't. They are just people who believe they do. And as they gather with each other every Sunday, they reinforce each others delusion, and keep ignoring that fellow sitting...over there. ("I can't go up and talk to him now. I mean, I have been ignoring him for months. I didn't mean to. Time just got away from me. I missed a few Sundays in a row and when I came back, there he was. How long has he been coming now? What will he think of me if I go up to him now? No, the easiest thing to do is just keep ignoring him...")

For what it's worth, during this time, I have had one person (1), out of perhaps 200-300 members, ask me if I knew Jesus as my saviour. No one else in that church has ever asked me anything about God, Jesus, church, the bible, etc.

That, my friend, is Human nature.