Thursday, May 10, 2012

for what are we responsible

Some thoughts by John Piper in Bloodlines that seem relevant to my recent postings in this blog and on Facebook (and the subsequent comments from friends).

The church is not called to be responsible for the way unbelievers run their lives. But we are called to be responsible, by the power of the Spirit and for the glory of Jesus, for the way believers live and the kind of relationships that are cultivated in the fellowship of the church. The credibility of the gospel around the world hangs in part on this dimension of our witness. ...

The truth of the gospel does not depend on the assessments of fallen and fallible people in the world. And according to the book of Acts, the church grew in numbers even though “everywhere it is spoken against” (Acts 28:22). Outside the church there is no commitment to exalt Jesus and his cross through racial harmony. But that is the only kind of harmony that honors God and serves people longer than the vapor’s breath of this life. So the world is not the final arbiter of our successes and failures. But what the world sees matters. We want to show we are Christians by the way we love (John 13:35), and we want to do the kinds of things that lead people to glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5:14–16).

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