You Will Know They Are Christians by Their Love
- Dr. Ted Baehr
- 2002 14 Nov
What astounded the pagan Roman world about the Christian Church was the love that Christians had for one another. In our century, that love seems to have diminished, given the rapid secularization as well as the worship of individualism within the church. Perhaps this is part of the self-centered Gospel.
Recently, a very committed Christian who ran a national film festival, said that he did not want to be associated with Christian events, because he didn't want his trustees to misinterpret his faith. Another Christian in Hollywood didn't want to meet with Christian media. This fear of associating with Christians stands in stark contrast to the close bonds within the Orthodox Jewish community.
At a Sabbath lunch one day at Michael Medved's house, Michael explained to me and those gathered that Orthodox Jews are commanded to seek help from other Jews, not gentiles. For instance, on the Sabbath, when Orthodox Jews are only allowed to walk a short distance, that restriction could be broken if your child was hurting and needed a doctor. As Michael explained, if there was a Christian doctor next door and a Jewish Doctor some distance away, the Orthodox Jew would choose only to seek medical care from the Jewish doctor.
As Neil Gabler, son of one of the Hollywood moguls has pointed out in his book, A WORLD OF THEIR OWN, this commitment to each other is what helped the Jews build their Hollywood empires. There was never a concern about nepotism, only a concern about not helping your family and fellow religionists. Sometimes this was very difficult, as the case of the Warner Bros. who did not get along with each other but worked together in spite of their differences.
Perhaps, there is something to be learned here. This attitude reminds one of the early church where the Bible tells us that pagans recognized Christians by their love.
Instead of drifting apart and becoming indistinguishable from the secular society, Christians need to work together and love one another. After all, isn't this what a family is all about: forgiving one another; supporting one another; equipping one another, and encouraging one another; instead of: being embarrassed by one another, carping about one another, belittling one another, and criticizing one another.
Because of their love, the early Christians overthrew the mighty Roman Empire. Confronting a new pagan empire, it may very well be that the only way the church can overcome is through cooperation, not criticism.