A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, February 21, 2022

Has the Church in America Lost Its Ministry of Reconciliation?

But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept (Genesis 33:4)
Old habits inherited from Christendom have shaped us to live and indeed even to thrive on antagonisms. Meanwhile, people outside the church look at us and see only conflict, anger, and even hate. Our witness to Christ is damaged. And as we enter the world, we've lost the wherewithal to engage what God is doing in Christ to save the world.

The old habits of Christendom die slowly. And yet God, I contend, cannot work his mission for the world via the anger, antagonism, and violence that characterize the world apart from God. If the church is to open up a new space beyond enemies for the work of Christ in the world, it must do so by his Spirit, through his presence—David Fitch, The Church of Us vs. Them: Freedom from a Faith that Feeds on Making Enemies, p. 10-11.
Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, as St. Paul notes, "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” We, the followers of Jesus are ambassadors taking that message of reconciliation in word and deed to the world. But I contend that centuries of Christendom* have woefully undermined our calling as Christ's ambassadors.

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