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John 13:35

  1. "And they shall know you are Christians by your love one to another." John 13:35.

    And they (unbelievers, other believers, readers on this website) shall know you are Christians by your love one to another. If all the text you (me, others) have written was gathered into one place, how far would one have to read in to it to learn that you (me, others) are a Christian according to John 13:35? Imagine if God were to remove our label of "Christian, saved, having eternal life, being God's Child" every time we wrote something that wasn't loving, or was definitely unloving. Imagine if those titles were determined by the percentage of time we were either loving or unloving. Say 51% of the time we were not loving towards other Christians would make us not a Christian, how would we do? How much harder would we strive to be more loving, less critical, and strive to endeavor to keep the unity of the faith? Now I am not in favor of not contending for the faith (Jude 3) for the sake of unity. I am not in favor of having a united group of Christians that are off on their doctrine. But I am not in favor of arguing with Christians all the time over non-essentials. We have enough to combat in fighting against the ungodliness of the world, let alone the petty squabbles that a lot of us Christians get into. I think we need to keep in mind more of how we come off to those in the ungodly world we would want to win for Christ. Do they say "Oh, those Christians. They are always arguing amongst themselves, splitting hairs over this and that doctrine. They can't even agree among themselves, why should we listen to them at all? They treat each other so badly, so rudely. What must they think of me who doesn't even claim to be "transformed by the power of Christ from a sinner to one of His redeemed, one that is supposed to love as He loved?"
    One Sunday morning Gandhi decided that he would visit one of the Christian churches in Calcutta. Upon seeking entrance to the church sanctuary, he was stopped at the door by the ushers. The ushers told him that he was not welcome, nor would he be permitted to attend this particular church as it was for 'high caste' Indians and 'whites' only. He was neither 'high caste', nor was he British. Because of the rejection by this church, 'the Mahatma' turned his back on Christianity. With this act, Gandhi rejected the Christian faith, never again to consider the claims of Christ! He was 'turned-off' by the sin of segregation that was practiced by the church. Gandhi later declared, "I'd be a Christian if it were not for the Christians!"

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  1. Beaker
    That verse always brings to mind our search for a new church family, when we emigrated to Canada. We attended one church where there were two morning services, we went for the latter one. We arrived at the church building only to find the main doors still locked - with about 30 minutes before the service commenced. Went back to the car park only to see a gathering of people drinking tea/coffee near what looked like the back of the church. We entered the doors and asked if this was the entrance. We were directed up to the main auditorium. We sat down, no one was there to greet us, - eventually more people arrived and took their seats, no one approached us. About 1/4 of an hour or more later, an usher presented us with a bulletin, but no welcome. Near the end of the service, they had the AUDACITY to sing the song "And you'll know we are Christians by our love" - huh WHAT love? I signed the visitors book with the response "And you'll know we are Christians by our love?. . . . . . there must be no Christians in this church, for there was absolutely NO love shown to these visitors"
    1. Greg Merrill
      Unfortunately your experience is all too common. As a pastor of a small church in the past, I often had people tell me how friendly we were to visitors, unlike other churches they had gone to, as well as telling me it was nice to see the pastor use the Bible, rather than just preach philosophy.
      Beaker likes this.