I attended a Men's group last night that comprised of one of my best friends, and a guy a few years older, and definitely a few years wiser. We had been asked to enter into it because at one time my friend and I were both in youth work, and yet not accountable to anyone. That however, is irrelevent to this post. I have always been struck by the dynamic of friendship, and by how the relationship progresses from the general to the specific; and yet how in some friendships this process happens quickly while in others it never happens. I have friends, and I have people I know in the Christian world, all of whom I should call brother, and yet few of whom I would call friend. How can I be loving as Jesus loved if I cannot look upon them as friend. Why is it I value friendship above brotherhood? Is there something fundamentally wrong here, for I use the word brother often in Christian cirlces, and I understand in part, its connotations. Despite this, my heart recognises so very few of them, and my patience and tollerance even fewer. Sure, I can be pleasant with people, but that is not loving my brother, and surely that leaves me so far short of a full relationship with Jesus. I have veered off my main point, and perhaps I shall return to it soon. There is much to say. In regard to my previous post, please do not misunderstand my central point: I do not doubt that we need to study the word and be fully engaged with the gospel. However, I have to question whether debating the gospel is as effective as sharing the gospel through living and engaging in life with people. Perhaps I know not what I am saying.


Blogger e said...

roj--i think your question is valid and the answer has to be somewhere between the extreme poles of relationship-free evangelism (bible beating) and bible-free relationships (never introducing elements of the gospel). the problem is evaluating the heart of where that person is and listening to the Lord to know how to proceed, when to prod and when to be silent, when to hang out and when to preach.

and the brother/friend thing is something i don't understand either. most of my really close friends are christians but then some people that i relate to the least, feel the most opposition from--people that are shallow in their values, their thoughts, the way they live their lives--are also "christians". i often feel alienated by the wider "christian" circle with their cheesy music, unrealistic feel-good message, and inability to take their own sin seriously. conversely, i have close non-believers who think about things, who deeply love people and are committed to them, and who will probably be my friends till we die.

i don't understand it at all.

5/20/2004 4:07 PM  

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